Ayatollah vows Iran will resist Western sanctions

AFP , Monday 9 Jan 2012

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says his country will challenge any Western sanctions or pressures designed to stop Tehran's controversial nuclear program

Iran will not falter in the face of Western-imposed sanctions, the country's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in comments broadcast on state television on Monday.

"The firm decision of the Islamic Republic is to resist the pressures" of Western powers, Khamenei said.

"While the Iranian people have travelled the road to success and see the signs of new victories to come, the (Western) oppressor is trying to frighten the Iranian people and officials by brandishing the threat of sanctions."

While analysts and some in Iran's government have said the latest round of sanctions have hit Iran's economy, the country's top leader dismissed claims that the strategy will block his country from pursuing its goals.

"Western officials have declared on a number of occasions that, with sanctions and pressure, they want to discourage the people and lead officials to renounce their plans, but they are mistaken and they will not achieve their objectives," said Khamenei.

The European Union is joining the United States in ratcheting up sanctions on Iran over its nuclear programme, which the West believes masks a drive to develop an atomic weapons capability.

Iran, which insists its nuclear programme is exclusively for peaceful purposes, has said it is "not concerned" by the imminent EU embargo. It says it will easily be able to sell its oil to other markets.

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