Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi said Sunday that French calls for "decisive sanctions" against Iran to prevent it from acquiring nuclear weapons show that international pressure on Iran is not "effective."
"The sanctions are not effective until now, and that's why (French politicians) require new ones," Vahidi was quoted by ISNA news agency as saying, referring specifically to statements by French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.
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Speaking in Washington on Friday, the French minister expressed hope that the US and European countries would take "decisive sanctions" against Iran and its controversial nuclear program.
Le Drian slammed the "strategy of procrastination and concealment" regarding Tehran, stressing that pressure on Iran must increase in the coming months.
Negotiations between the West and Iran have stalled since the last meeting in early April in Almaty, Kazakhstan. However, chief Iranian nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, and the EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton announced Thursday their willingness to continue discussions.
For several years the UN and Western powers have developed an arsenal of sanctions aimed to try dissuading Tehran from developing nuclear weapons under what they believe is the pretext of a civilian nuclear program, Iran's denials notwithstanding.
As a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iran requires for its part that its right to develop nuclear energy for civilian purposes be recognized.
Since the stiffened economic sanctions by the United States and the European Union entered into force in July 2012, the Iranian currency Rial has lost nearly 80% of its value and inflation soared to over 31%, according to official figures.
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