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Iran says high oil prices negate effects of new UN sanctions

 High oil prices on global markets will help Iran to compensate for negative consequences of the future UN economic sanctions against Tehran over its controversial nuclear program, the economics minister said on Monday.

"The experience shows that sanctions do not affect the Iranian economy. With high oil prices...we can compensate for any damage [from UN sanctions]," the Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA) quoted Davoud Danesh-Jafari as saying.

The minister said Iran, the world's fourth largest oil producer, would receive record state revenues from oil exports this year, which means that "the economic situation in the country is quite stable."

The diplomatic standoff between Iran and the West began almost six years ago over suspicions that Tehran was developing a secret weapons program. Tehran has always maintained it needs nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. Since then, two rounds of sanctions have been imposed - in December 2006 and March 2007.

The five permanent UN Security Council members and Germany (Iran Six) agreed at talks in Berlin on January 22 on a draft for a third sanctions resolution against Iran calling for travel bans, asset freezes and vigilance on all banks in the Islamic Republic.

The new draft resolution was officially introduced by France and Britain in the UN Security Council last Friday, and council members are expected to vote on the resolution at some point this week.

The outcome of the vote will largely depend on the assessment of a new report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), circulated last week, which said Iran had become more transparent about its nuclear program, but had failed to provide credible answers to suspicions about the real nature of its nuclear research.

Iran Six negotiators will meet later on Monday in Washington to discuss further steps in dealing with Iran's nuclear issue.

RIA Novosti

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