Ahmadinejad, 'Big mistake'
Obama, extending sanctions
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad dismissed international sanctions against Iran as a "childish idea" on Friday as he officially launched a natural gas project in the Gulf, Iranian media reported.
The comments came a day after US President Barack Obama said he was extending economic sanctions against Tehran as it continued to pose an "extraordinary threat" to the national security, foreign policy and economy of the United States.
Obama announced the routine extension of punitive measures imposed by former US President Bill Clinton in 1995 in a public notice on Thursday.
Ahmadinejad said the idea of creating obstacles for Iran's development with sanctions was "a childish idea and a big mistake," the official IRNA news agency reported.
"Of course our belief is that with the grace of God the Iranian nation can traverse the course of development," he said in a speech in the southern Gulf port of Assaluyeh.
He described Friday's commissioning of Phases 9 and 10 of the South Pars field, Iran's single biggest natural gas deposit, as a "happy gift" for the Iranian nation, which is also the world's fourth-largest oil producer.
"This grand achievement happened under conditions in which some in the world with immorality and misbehaviour did not fulfil their promises," Ahmadinejad said.
South Pars, in the Gulf, is Iran's biggest single gas deposit. The country sits on the world's second-largest gas reserves after Russia but has been slow to develop exports.
Many Western energy firms have become wary of investing in Iran because of the sanctions. Asian firms have snapped up some projects and are looking at others.
South Korea's LG Engineering Construction Corp and a pair of Iranian energy firms in 2002 won a deal to develop phases 9 and 10, out of South Pars' 24 phases. Iranian media said the two phases would have a daily output of 50 million cubic metres.