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27 January 2012 - 22:05

A senior cleric says the European Union decision to impose oil sanctions on Iran will have no impact on Iranian economy, stressing that the move is aimed at affecting the upcoming parliamentary elections.

“The EU embargo on the purchase of Iran's oil is not a new matter. Such a hostile policy lacks a real impact on Iran's economy,” said Tehran's interim Friday Prayers Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ahmad Khatami.

He said the EU decision to implement the new sanctions after a six-month period clearly shows the bloc's efforts to influence Iran's 9th parliamentary elections slated for March 2.

Khatami, who is a member of the Assembly of Experts, said the obvious reason behind the bloc's six-month deadline is that crises-hit EU states want to assess the situation.

He emphasized that European countries, particularly Spain, Italy, Greece and France, buy merely 17 percent of Iran's oil but they are currently sinking in their own problems with billions of dollars in debt.

EU foreign ministers reached an agreement on January 23 to impose an immediate ban on oil imports from Iran over the country's nuclear program as of July 1.

The 27-member bloc agreed to ban oil imports as well as petroleum products from the major OPEC member state and freeze the assets of the Central Bank of Iran across the EU.

The EU also imposed a ban on the sale of gold, diamonds, and other precious metals to Iran.

Following the EU's move, Iranian lawmakers announced that the Majlis will discuss the subject of putting a halt to the sale of Iran's oil to European countries.
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News ID 181430