Iran news headlines on Sunday include Iran’s oil minister remarks over country bypassing sanctions by selling oil; Iran’s foreign minister spokesman speeches on West interference on Syria crisis; Ahmadinejad statements on on sanctions against Iran; Netanyahu saying Iran is central issue for my next term; US Congress enhancing Iran sanctions & funding for Israel’s missile defense.
Iran’s oil minister claims his country has successfully circumvented sanctions on the sale of its oil. State TV on Sunday broadcast comments by Rostam Ghasemi that the industry was in “bad shape” about two months ago due to the oil embargo by the West, “but we left the bottleneck behind, almost.”
Iran assured Saturday that a military solution would not settle the situation in Syria, indicating that the majority of Syrians doesn’t support the West and the armed opposition, and this is why they oppose free elections. Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said in a press conference in Erzurum, Turkey, late Saturday that “a military solution is not an appropriate settlement for Syria,” adding that “the west and the armed groups in Syria oppose free election, because they know that majority of people would not support them in such an election.”
Iran is engaged in a “smart economic war” with Western powers whose sanctions against its nuclear programme are hurting some Iranians, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Saturday. “Targeted sanctions, which the enemies say are supposed to be crippling, have led to a drop in our oil” sales, Ahmadinejad said in a live interview on state television, referring to an oil embargo imposed by the European Union.
Iran’s perceived nuclear threat against Israel will be the central issue concerning Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government if he is re-elected in a month’s time, the Israeli leader said on Saturday. Netanyahu has set out a mid-2013 “red line” for tackling Iran’s uranium enrichment project. The West says this programme is aimed at developing the means to build atomic bombs. Tehran denies this, saying it is enriching uranium for civilian energy.
JTA, the pro-Israeli site announced that the final version of a defense funding act headed for President Obama’s desk includes enhanced Iran sanctions the president opposed as well as additional funding for Israel’s missile defense. The National Defense Authorization Act, passed in its reconciled version before both houses broke for Christmas holidays on Dec. 21, includes provisions authored by Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) that would among other enhancements sanction entities that circumvent existing banking sanctions on Iran by paying for Iranian oil with gold.
The Iran Project is not responsible for the content of quoted articles.