Spain, biggest loser in Iran sanction game: Madrid envoy to Tehran

Spain’s new ambassador to Tehran has described negotiation as the principal means of resolving Iran’s nuclear issue, adding that the EU’s recent sanctions against the Islamic Republic inflict great losses on Madrid.

“Spain suffers the heaviest damage from the continuation of [EU-backed] embargoes against Iran and has always expressed support for the resumption of talks and negotiations [between Tehran and P5+1] in order to clear up misunderstandings between the two sides,” Pedro Antonio Villena Pérez said at a meeting with Head of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee Alaeddin Boroujerdi on Tuesday.

Alaeddin Boroujerdi said the EU member states would suffer the most from Iran’s sanctions as their anti-Iran decisions have not been adopted in accordance with “the realities of the Islamic Republic.”

Villena Pérez stressed that Spain is not among the countries which seek to aggravate bans on Iranian oil and banking sector.

The Spanish envoy to Tehran also expressed hope the existing problems between Iran and the EU member states would be resolved through diplomacy and dialogue.

EU diplomats announced on Friday the bloc’s 27 member states have agreed on the major mechanisms of an agreement on imposing sanctions against Iran’s telecommunications sector.

The new EU agenda comes in the wake of the bloc’s January 23 agreement to ban oil imports from Tehran, freeze the assets of the Central Bank of Iran across the EU, and ban sales of grains, diamonds, gold, and other precious metals to the country.

The EU sanctions came shortly after US President Barack Obama signed into law fresh unilateral economic sanctions against the Central Bank of Iran on New Year’s Eve in an apparent bid to punish foreign companies and banks that do business with the Iranian financial institution. The bill ultimately takes aim at Iran’s oil revenue.

The United States, israel and some of their European allies accuse Tehran of pursuing military objectives in its nuclear program and have used this pretext to push for the imposition of four rounds of UN Security Council sanctions and a series of unilateral embargoes against the Islamic Republic.

Iran has refuted the allegations, arguing that as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it is entitled to use nuclear technology for peaceful use.

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