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Iran urges West to exercise prudence

Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has called on the European Union (EU) and the US to exercise prudence over Iran and abandon the idea of sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

Speaking with the Turkish TRT television news channel on Monday, the Iranian minister advised EU and US officials to pursue a policy of interaction with Iran instead of imposing sanctions.

Sanctions will not cause serious problems for the Iranian nation, Salehi said, adding that, however, Iran does not welcome sanctions and hopes the Europeans will adopt a wise attitude towards Tehran.

The Iranian foreign minister is in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, to attend the 18th African Union (AU) Summit.

If the US and Europeans pursue the path of interaction with Iran, they will see how Tehran will also interact with them, he pointed out.

Salehi also emphasized that Tehran can be a “reliable partner” for the 27-nation bloc.

On December 31, 2011, US President Barack Obama signed into law new sanctions against Tehran, seeking to penalize countries importing Iran’s oil or doing transaction with the Central Bank of Iran.

During their latest meeting in Brussels on January 23, EU foreign ministers reached an agreement to ban oil imports from Iran, freeze the assets of the Central Bank of Iran within the bloc and ban the sales of diamonds, gold and other precious metals to the Islamic Republic.

The EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, claimed that the new sanctions are meant to bring Iran back to the negotiating table with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council — Russia, China, France, Britain and the US — plus Germany (P5+1).

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