Iran's Nuclear Negotiator Attacks U.S. Sanctions

Iran's new chief nuclear negotiator said on Friday that by introducing new sanctions against Tehran the United States would only isolate itself, reported RIA-Novosti.

Washington unilaterally imposed further sanctions against Iran on Thursday, which will affect a number of Iranian banks, as well as two elite military units.

"The U.S. sanctions are not new. They [the country] have repeatedly imposed sanctions against us for 28 years and have made another step today," said Saeed Jalili, the head of the Supreme National Security Council.

The U.S. and Europe have been seeking additional sanctions against Iran, which they suspect of pursuing a clandestine weapons program. Iran says it needs the program for energy. Russia has been restrained in its position, calling for more diplomacy.

The sanctions target three Iranian state-owned banks, the Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL), nine organizations linked to the Revolutionary Guard Corps, and eight people, including three involved with Iran's Aerospace Industries Organization, the U.S. Treasury said on Thursday.

Washington qualified Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps as proliferators of weapons of mass destruction and its elite Qods Force a supporter of terrorism.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said all the assets of these organizations and individuals would be frozen immediately, and transactions with them banned. Rice said these sanctions were based on U.S. laws and corresponded to the country's international obligations.

Pressing for Iran to halt uranium enrichment, the UN Security Council has twice adopted sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

Although exasperated by the sanctions, Iran agreed in August with the International Atomic Energy Agency on a plan to resolve by the end of the year all outstanding issues the UN nuclear watchdog has regarding Iran's nuclear program.

Ali Larijani, the special representative of Iran's spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and ex-head of the Supreme National Security Council, said on Friday Iran would continue cooperation with the IAEA despite the U.S. "evil behavior."

"By its unilateral policy, the U.S. shows it is unimportant for the country whether Iran cooperates with the IAEA or not," he said.

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