Ahmadinejad: “Sanctions have always failed”

24 Dec 2010

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After meeting with Turkey’s president in advance of multinational discussions on Iran’s nuclear program, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said he hopes the talks will be productive but stressed that international sanctions “have no impact on Iran’s decision-making process” and “have always failed.”

Ahmadinejad and Turkish President Abdullah Gul, along with ministers of the two countries, met separately Thursday after the 11th summit meeting of the Economic Cooperation Organization at the Ciragan Palace in Istanbul. Leaders and delegations from Afghanistan, Pakistan and other Central Asian countries also attended the summit, which aims to promote regional economic development and cooperation among member states.

Discussions between Iran and what is known as the P5 plus 1 – the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council (the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China) plus Germany – are to be held in Istanbul in January. This second round of talks was agreed to after two days of discussions between Iran and the six-nation group this month in Geneva, Switzerland.

Though Turkey will have no direct role in the January discussions, “It is in our advantage as well as Iran’s that the matter is resolved through diplomatic ways,” Gul said. “Turkey has important contributions. It is important that progress is made in the content of these meetings,” he added.

The United States, other Western countries and Israel fear that Iran wants to develop nuclear weapons, an allegation Tehran denies, saying its nuclear program is strictly for peaceful purposes. Iran already faces stiff sanctions from the international community because it has continued to enrich uranium.

“We hope the Istanbul meeting becomes a good meeting with lasting results,” Ahmadinejad said during a news conference Thursday. However, he said, “Sanctions have no impact on Iran’s decision-making process … and sanctions have always failed. … Our enemies cannot harm our very strong economy by imposing sanctions on Iran.”

source: CNN

Tehran Review
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