Iran’s foreign minister called on the European Union to reconsider a ban on its oil set to start July 1, saying a confrontation over the nation’s nuclear program will yield no benefits, the Islamic Republic News Agency said.
“We are used to sanctions; it isn’t new,” Ali Akbar Salehi said yesterday during a visit to Cyprus, the official state news agency reported. “We hope that the European Union takes this into account and acts with more rationality.”
The EU boycott of Iran oil, aimed at derailing the Persian Gulf state’s nuclear-enrichment program, will come into effect after a third round of nuclear talks this year between Iran and world powers failed to reach a breakthrough. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton confirmed two days ago that the sanctions will begin as previously agreed by the bloc’s governments.
“No one will benefit from confrontation and we don’t see a reason for advancing on the wrong path,” Salehi told reporters after a meeting with Cypriot President Demetris Christofias, according to IRNA. “Iran and the EU can cooperate together.”
Iran says its nuclear program is civilian and its activities are lawful under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, to which it is a signatory. The U.S. and its western allies accuse it of developing nuclear weapons capability.