Sanctions foolish, Iran says

Dec. 27, 2011 at 8:31 AM

TEHRAN, Dec. 27 (UPI) -- Western adversaries of Iran could be favoring political gain over national interests by sanctioning Tehran's energy sector, an Iranian government official said.

U.S. lawmakers in mid-December said new sanctions on Iran would make it more difficult for the country to sell oil, meaning its federal coffers would dwindle. The White House, however, suggested it would tread carefully because of energy concerns.

Ramin Mehmanparast, a spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, said some countries weren't keen on jeopardizing energy for political gain.

"Most of Western countries do not consider these sanctions practical and do not sacrifice their national interests for the political objectives of the U.S. and a limited number of Western allies," he was quoted by state-funded broadcaster Press TV as saying.

Iran is one of the top oil producers among members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. OPEC this month said it was concerned about the economic consequences of a tight energy market.

Increased sanctions pressure followed a report from the International Atomic Energy that found Iran's nuclear program contained possible military dimensions, something Tehran denies.

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