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News number: 8805131248

16:17 | 2009-08-04

Economy

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Former MP: US Gasoline Sanction Targets Iranian Nation

TEHRAN (FNA)- The United States' likely sanction on gasoline exports to Iran has been designed to target the Iranian nation, a former Iranian MP said Tuesday, stressing that the measure would prove futile, given Iran's countermeasures, including its efforts to reach self-sufficiency in gasoline production.



"While the US alleges to be an advocate of human rights, it has put sanctions on Iran's gasoline supplies on its agenda in an effort to trample on the rights of the Iranian nation," former member of the parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Elham Aminzadeh told FNA.

Aminzadeh said Iran is working on replacing its gasoline suppliers in a bid to defuse possible sanctions, and added, "As much as possible, the country's needed gasoline should be supplied domestically and any need to foreign supplies should be provided through imports from various world markets."

She further reminded that western sanctions on Iran date back to 1982 and have been extended every year, "and the fact that fresh sanctions are added to the previous ones shows their inefficiency".

Asked if the West, specially the US, would embark on imposing fresh sanctions on Iran to take the country to the negotiating table, Aminzadeh said negotiations need the positive measures of the other side as negative actions distance the opposite side from talks.

In an attempt to force Tehran to halt its enrichment program, the US Senate has voted to put pressure on companies selling gasoline to Iran.

A bill approved on Thursday by the Senate says companies that continue to sell gasoline and other refined oil products to Iran will be banned from receiving Energy Department contracts to deliver crude to the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

The measure must now be reconciled with a similar bill passed by the House of Representatives.

In June, a committee in the US House of Representatives voted to target Iran's gasoline imports and its domestic energy sector. Iran imports some 40 percent of its gasoline needs.

The House Appropriations Committee approved by voice vote a measure prohibiting the US Export-Import Bank from helping companies that export gasoline to Iran or support its production at home.

The measure is aimed at pressuring Iran into relinquishing its nuclear program, which the US and the West allege has military purposes.

Tehran, a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, has repeatedly rejected the claim, saying that nuclear weapons do not fit in its defense paradigm.