Iran seeks re­gional front against US ‘eco­nomic ter­ror­ism’

The Borneo Post (Sabah) - - SUNDAY WORLD -

TEHRAN: Iran’s Pres­i­dent Has­san Rouhani said US sanc­tions were ‘eco­nomic ter­ror­ism’, as he sought to foster a united front from vis­it­ing re­gional of­fi­cials yes­ter­day.

Ad­dress­ing par­lia­ment speak­ers from Afghanistan, China, Pak­istan, Rus­sia and Turkey, Rouhani said they had all suf­fered eco­nomic pres­sure from the US.

“We are fac­ing an all-out as­sault which is not only threat­en­ing our in­de­pen­dence and iden­tity but also is bent on break­ing our long­stand­ing ties,” he said.

Wash­ing­ton has reim­posed an oil em­bargo and other dam­ag­ing sanc­tions on Iran since with­draw­ing in May from a land­mark 2015 nu­clear deal be­tween Tehran and ma­jor pow­ers.

“Amer­ica’s un­just and il­le­gal sanc­tions against the honourable na­tion of Iran have tar­geted our na­tion in a clear in­stance of ter­ror­ism,” Rouhani said.

“Eco­nomic ter­ror­ism is de­signed to cre­ate panic in the econ­omy of a coun­try and fear in other coun­tries in or­der to pre­vent in­vest­ment.”

The con­fer­ence in Tehran was a sec­ond an­nual meet­ing of par­lia­ment speak­ers fo­cused on ter­ror­ism and re­gional co­op­er­a­tion. The first was held last De­cem­ber in Islamabad.

Most par­tic­i­pat­ing coun­tries have faced harsh sanc­tions and other eco­nomic pres­sure as part of the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion’s use of trade as a diplomatic weapon.

A brief truce in Trump’s trade war with China was again in doubt this week af­ter the ar­rest of Chi­nese tele­com gi­ant Huawei’s chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer, who was de­tained in Canada to face fraud charges in the US.

Wash­ing­ton has con­tin­ued to pile fresh sanc­tions on Rus­sia that be­gan over its mil­i­tary in­ter­ven­tion in Ukraine, while Turkey also faced penal­ties this year over the de­ten­tion of an Amer­i­can pas­tor.

Trump has also can­celled hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars in aid to Pak­istan, ac­cus­ing it of fail­ing to crack down on mil­i­tancy.

“When they put pres­sure on China’s trade, we are all harmed ... By pun­ish­ing Turkey, we are all pun­ished. Any time they threaten Rus­sia, we too consider our se­cu­rity to be en­dan­gered,” Rouhani said.

We are fac­ing an all­out as­sault which is not only threat­en­ing our in­de­pen­dence and iden­tity but also is bent on break­ing our long­stand­ing ties. — Has­san Rouhani, Iran’s Pres­i­dent

“When they im­pose sanc­tions on Iran, they de­prive all of us of the ben­e­fits of in­ter­na­tional trade, en­ergy se­cu­rity and sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment. And in fact, they im­pose sanc­tions on ev­ery­one.

“We are here to say that we don’t in­tend to tol­er­ate such in­so­lence.”

Rouhani warned Europe — which has strongly ob­jected to the US with­drawal from the nu­clear deal — that much is at stake in its ef­forts to by­pass US sanc­tions and main­tain trade with Iran.

“They should know that by sanc­tion­ing Iran, they would harm our abil­ity to fight drugs and ter­ror­ism,” Rouhani said, re­fer­ring to Iran’s ef­forts to com­bat smug­gling, par­tic­u­larly from Afghanistan.

The Euro­pean Union is work­ing on a pay­ment sys­tem, known as the “spe­cial pur­pose ve­hi­cle”, to keep money flow­ing into Iran, but has strug­gled to find a host since many coun­tries fear reper­cus­sions from the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion. — AFP

VALU­ABLE DIS­COV­ERY:This hand­out pic­ture shows ex­ca­va­tion works at the ar­chae­o­log­i­cal site of ‘El Chorro’ at the Lam­bayeque Val­ley in north­ern Peru, where re­searchers dis­cov­ered a 1,700-year-old cer­e­mo­nial cen­tre where ban­quets were of­fered in hon­our of the dead of the Mochica pre-his­panic cul­ture. — AFP

HAS­SAN ROUHANI

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