Neither European countries nor Iran can disregard the need for mutual cooperation because we are both complementary to each other, Salehi told reporters on the sidelines of a two-day conference on relations between Iran and the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) in Tehran on Monday.
The top Iranian diplomat further said that enhanced economic ties with all countries is among the priorities of Iran’s foreign policy, stressing that Tehran attaches importance to bolstering relations with neighboring countries as well as the member states of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO).
Iran’s Oil Ministry announced on Sunday that it had cut oil exports to British and French firms in line with the decision to end crude exports to six European states.
The decision by Iran came after European Union foreign ministers agreed to ban oil imports from Iran and freeze the assets of the Iran’s Central Bank across the EU in line with a US-led effort to impose further pressure on the Iranian economy over its civilian nuclear program.
The anti-Iran sanctions, however, are to take effect on July 1, 2012, offering EU member states enough time to adjust to new conditions and gain access to alternative crude oil supplies.
Despite the widely publicized claims by the US, Israel and some of their European allies that Iran’s nuclear program may include a military aspect, Iran insists on its civilian nature, arguing that as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has the right to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful objectives.
Moreover, Iran’s nuclear work has been closely monitored by the IAEA. The agency has conducted numerous inspections of the country’s nuclear facilities but has never found any evidence indicating a military diversion in Tehran’s nuclear program