Iran to pull assets from EU over sanctions: Minister

The new EU sanctions include a freeze on the assets of Iran's largest bank, Bank Melli, and visa bans on senior officials such as Revolutionary Guards head Mohammad Ali Jafari, Defence Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar and atomic energy chief Gholamreza Ag

Iran to pull assets from EU over sanctions: Minister
Iran will withdraw assets from the European Union in response to the tightening of sanctions imposed over its nuclear programme, Deputy Foreign Minister Mahdi Safari said in an interview published on Wednesday.

"We are going to withdraw the money and invest elsewhere," Mahdi was quoted as saying by Austrian daily Die Presse.

"If you withdraw more than $100 billion, then of course this will bring about a scarcity of money and have an impact on the world economy."

The 27-nation EU agreed new sanctions on Monday targeting businesses and individuals.

An Iranian monthly reported earlier in June that the Islamic Republic had withdrawn $75 billion in assets from Europe to prevent their being blocked under new sanctions. But Iran's economy minister on Sunday played down the report "as yet not serious".

The new EU sanctions include a freeze on the assets of Iran's largest bank, Bank Melli, and visa bans on senior officials such as Revolutionary Guards head Mohammad Ali Jafari, Defence Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar and atomic energy chief Gholamreza Aghazadeh.

Mahdi told Die Presse that Europeans would lose out as a result of the newly imposed measures.

"We have gas and oil resources everyone wants to buy. Now we are trading mostly with Asian countries," he said.

"Previously our main partners were in Europe -- Germany, Italy, France, and also Austria. Now we have other partners."

Reuters
Last Mod: 25 Haziran 2008, 16:55
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