Iran opposition warns of revolution

Internal strife as Canada, EU slam Iran with unilateral sanctions.

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
July 26, 2010 19:29
3 minute read.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Vice Pre

AhmadinejadTeheranAirport311. (photo credit: Associated Press)

 
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Iran's opposition leader said Monday that Ahmadinejad's regime could suffer the same fate as the deposed Shah if they continue to consolidate their grip on power.

The internal pressure comes as western countries imposed unilateral sanctions on Iran, including Monday's sanctions from both the EU and Canada, which came in the wake of UN sanctions and a harsher set of unilateral US sanctions in June.

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The comments by opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi represent a clear break with a ruling system he was once firmly a part of. The former prime minister was a fervent supporter of the 1979 revolution that brought cleric-led government to Iran before recasting himself as a leader of the reform-seeking opposition in last year's disputed presidential election.

In comments on his website Monday, Mousavi accuses hard-liners of moving toward an oppressive, one-party system. Previously, he limited his criticism to authorities' post-election crackdown rather than taking on the ruling system.

Unilateral sanctions:
Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon announced unilateral sanctions against Iran, saying the new measures will include a ban on any new Canadian investment in Iran's oil and gas sector, and restrictions on exporting goods that could be used in nuclear programs.

Iranian banks will also will be barred from opening branches in Canada and Canadian banks will not be able to operate in Iran.



The European Union formally adopted new energy sanctions against Iran earlier Monday which target the country's energy, banking, and foreign trade sectors.

The move came on the heels of the unilateral US sanctions passed last month by the Senate. The EU sanctions were agreed to in principle by European leaders in June, and are the latest in a series of measures taken by the international community in an effort to halt Iran's nuclear program.


"We have a comprehensive set of sanctions. This is something where we have all 27 countries working together," EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said ahead of the meeting.

According to the decision reached in June, the sanctions will target dual-use items that could be used as part of a nuclear program, and Iran's oil and gas industry — including the "prohibition of new investment, technical assistance and transfers of technologies."

Iran's shipping and air cargo companies will be blacklisted and banned from operating in EU territory, and new visa bans and asset freezes will be imposed on Iran's Revolutionary Guard. The sanctions also encompass trade insurance and financial transactions.

EU exports to Iran — mainly machinery, transport equipment and chemicals — amounted to euro 14.1 billion in 2008.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's response to the June around of sanctions passed by the UN was that they were "worthless" and should only go into "the trash bin," in a report cited by Bloomberg News.

Iran's UN Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee has accused the United States, Britain and their allies of abusing the Security Council to attack Iran.

"No amount of pressure and mischief will be able to break our nation's determination to pursue and defend its legal and inalienable rights," said Iran's UN Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee. "Iran is one of the most powerful and stable countries in the region and never bowed — and will never bow — to the hostile actions and pressures by these few powers and will continue to defend its rights."


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