Wednesday, January 18, 2012

'US sanctions on Iran, act of aggression'

Interview with Mohammad Marandi, professor at the University of Tehran

Source: Press TV

Russia has warned that it will veto any new sanctions imposed on Iran over its nuclear energy program.

Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said Moscow is opposed to placing an embargo on Iran's oil exports and will block any UN resolution to that effect. Gatilov said sanctioning Iran has lost its effectiveness. The Russian official also criticized the use of military force against Iran, describing the move as unacceptable. Gatilov also said attacking Iran would only make the situation worse.

This comes as Deputy Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Ali Baqeri has departed for Moscow. Baqeri is to hold talks with Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and other top officials. Tehran's upcoming comprehensive talks with the P5+1 is among topics to be discussed.

Press TV has conducted an interview with Mohammad Marandi, a professor at the University of Tehran, regarding the issue. What follows is the transcription of the interview:

Press TV: US efforts to push for European sanctions on Iranian oil have so far been left stale, but looking a step ahead, is the US and whoever is backing the measure contemplating the repercussions it would have on the global world market?

Marandi: It is pretty clear that the current situation is already having an adverse effect on European economies. The price of oil is higher than it was a while back and the analysts are saying that part of the reason is because of the tensions in the Persian Gulf region.

The United States is basically under pressure from the Israeli Zionist lobby and therefore, it is not acting in its own interest. Another problem really is that it is not really clear if there is any excess capacity. Contrary to what we are hearing, it does not seem as if the Saudis really have the ability to replace Iran in the oil market and also many of Iran's partners do not want to rely on Saudi oil.

India and China among other countries as well as South Africa: these are countries that are independent of Western hegemony and therefore, they do not want to be over reliant especially as Saudi Arabia is a very unstable country, that it has an ailing king; it has problems with all its neighbors because of the revolutions in Yemen; the people are angry with Saudi Arabia and in Egypt, people are unhappy with the regime because it supported the dictator there and Iraq as well as the Bahraini people whose country has been occupied and the princes are at each other's throats and ordinary people in Saudi Arabia are not happy as well.

So countries do not really want to rely on this regime.

Press TV: Tell us about the broader effect that other major players in the global energy market like, as you mentioned, Russia, China and India will have in this so-called standoff; they have already set and declared their stances with regards to the West's approach against Iran's oil exports.

Marandi: I think it has already become clear to most of the world, not only them, but the Non-Aligned Movement have sided with Iran throughout and that is itself the majority of the countries of the world.

What the United States is actually doing is it is waging war on Iran. This is as Ron Paul, the US presidential candidate has said, an act of war to impose oil sanctions and sanctions on the Iranian Central Bank, not just the United States and Europe itself but to impose it upon third countries who wish to do business with Iran.

In other words, the United States expects countries to get permission from it to deal with Iran and this, I think, in the long run actually causes greater anger towards the United States among independent-minded people and people in independent countries and I think it deteriorates the global hegemony of the United States, this sort of behavior.

They will not have a major effect on Iran. Iran will continue to export its oil and I think some of these countries who actually increased their import from Iran, because they have an interest in strong Iran as in opposition to the United States. But if the regimes in the region do try to help the United States in this illegal act to replace Iran from the oil market, then I think the Iranians will definitely see this as an act of aggression and they will deal with those regimes accordingly.

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