Iran: EU oil sanctions ‘unfair’ and ‘doomed to fail’
Catherine Ashton: “There is no question that (Chắc chắn rằng) if Iran responds positively the sanctions can eventually be lifted”
Iran has said an oil embargo adopted by European Union foreign ministers over the country’s nuclear programme is “unfair” and “doomed to fail (nhận định thất bại)”.
The measures would not prevent Iran’s “progress for achieving its basic rights”, Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said.
The sanctions ban all new oil contracts with Iran and freeze the assets (đóng băng) of Iran’s central bank in the EU.
The EU currently buys about 20% of Iran’s oil exports.
“European officials and other countries which are under America’s political pressure… should consider their national interests (lợi ích quốc gia) and not deprive themselves (tự chấp nhận mất đi) of Iran’s oil to help US officials achieve their secret aims (âm mưu),” Mr Mehmanparast added.
He accused the US of trying to create “problems with energy supply requirements in countries which are America’s economic rivals (đối thủ kinh tế)”.
US President Barack Obama has welcomed the EU sanctions, saying they show international unity (sự đoàn kết quốc tế ) against the “serious threat” posed by Iran’s nuclear programme.
Warships on the move – Các tàu chiến tiếp tục di chuyển
Jonathan Marcus BBC Diplomatic Correspondent
So once the new measures are in place, how successful will they be? Even Western diplomats are uncertain.
There is no doubting that the Iranian economy will suffer. But the nuclear programme is a matter of national pride and ultimately national security.
Iran has seen the demise of regimes in Iraq and Libya and noted the survival of that in North Korea – the one so-called “rogue state” that has nuclear weapons.
Iran’s rulers may well believe that having at least the potential for a nuclear bomb is something that could secure the country against outside threat.
Seen in this light one can imagine the Iranian authorities being willing to absorb considerable economic pain to pursue their nuclear research effort.
Impact of EU ban on Iranian oil – Tác động cấm vận của EU đối với dầu hỏa Iran
The sanctions were formally adopted (chính thức thông qua) at a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels on Monday.
Iran had “failed to restore international confidence (khắc phục lòng tin của cộng đồng quốc tế) in the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear programme”, British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a joint statement (thông cáo chung, phát biểu chung).
“We will not accept Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon. Iran has so far had no regard for (không tôn trọng) its international obligations (nghĩa vụ) and is already exporting and threatening violence around its region,” the leaders added.
The measures were “another strong step in the international effort to dramatically (rõ rệt và mạnh mẽ) increase the pressure on Iran”, US Treasury Secretary (Bộ trưởng Ngân khố) Timothy Geithner and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN’s nuclear watchdog (cơ quan giám sát) has confirmed it is sending a team to Iran between 29 and 31 January “to resolve all outstanding (còn tồn đọng) substantive issues (những vấn đề quan yếu)”.
Last November the IAEA said in a report that it had information suggesting Iran had carried out tests “relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device”.
Tehran insists its nuclear programme is for energy purposes (mục đích sản xuất năng lượng).
Earlier on Monday, the Pentagon said the US aircraft carrier (hàng không mẫu hạm) USS Abraham Lincoln, as well as a British Royal Navy frigate (tàu khu trục) and a French warship, had passed through the Strait of Hormuz at the entrance to the Gulf without incident, following Iranian threats to block the trade route.
Russian opposition – Phản đối của Nga
The EU said the sanctions prohibit the import, purchase and transport of Iranian crude oil and petroleum products as well as related finance and insurance. All existing contracts will have to be phased out (từng bước chấm dứt) by 1 July.
Investment as well as the export of key equipment and technology for Iran’s petrochemical sector (lĩnh vực, ngành) is also banned.
BBC Europe Editor Gavin Hewitt says it is one of the toughest steps (bước đi mạnh mẽ nhất) the EU has ever taken.
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said the purpose of the sanctions was “to put pressure on Iran to come back to the negotiating table”.
Earlier, UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said the embargo showed “the resolve (sự quyết tâm) of the European Union on this issue (về vấn đề này)”.
“It is absolutely right to do this when Iran is continuing to breach (vi phạm) United Nations resolutions,” he added.
The BBC’s James Reynolds visits Dubai where many people export goods to Iran
But the Russian foreign ministry said it was a “deeply mistaken” move that would not encourage Iran to return to the negotiating table.
“It’s apparent that in this case there is open pressure and diktat, (áp lực và mệnh lệnh ) aimed at “punishing” Iran,” it said in a statement.
BBC Iran correspondent James Reynolds says the decision may damage the Iranian economy – but in itself (chỉ một mình nó) it won’t destroy it.
Iran sells most of its oil to countries in Asia. The EU and the United States are now working to (đang vận động để) persuade Asian countries to reduce their purchases from Iran as well.
Iran has already threatened to retaliate (đáp trả, trả đủa) by blocking (phong tỏa) the Strait of Hormuz at the entrance to the Gulf, through which 20% of the world’s oil exports (số lượng xuất khẩu dầu thế giới) pass.
The US has said it will keep the trade route (tuyến đường thương mại ) open, raising the possibility of a confrontation (khả năng đối đầu).
Late last year Iran conducted 10 days of military exercises near the Strait (eo biển) of Hormuz , test-firing (bắn thử) several missiles (phi đạn).
Oil prices have risen already because of the increasing tension and the expected impact of an EU ban on oil supplies to Europe.
Hải quân Hoàng gia Anh và Hải quân Hoa kỳ
Nguồn: Bộ Quốc phòng Anh (MoD), Cục Quốc phòng Mỹ (US Department of Defense)
A French warship (tàu chiến) also accompanied US and UK naval vessels through the Strait of Hormuz on Monday