Middle East

West waging economic 'war' on Iran: Ahmadinejad

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks during a media conference on the sidelines of the 67th United Nations General Assembly in New York, September 26, 2012. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

TEHRAN: The West is waging economic war on Iran in a vain effort to make it yield on its nuclear activities, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Tuesday, amid a steep plunge in the value of his country's currency.

Western sanctions hitting oil exports generating foreign currency revenues and restricting Iran's ability to repatriate those revenues "is a hidden and heavy war on a planetary scale," he told a news conference in Tehran.

"It's a battle. They have managed to diminish a little our oil sales, but we are going to compensate for that," he said.

Reacting to the accelerated slide of the rial's value on the open market, where it has lost around 80 percent of its value from a year ago, Ahmadinejad said Iran has sufficient foreign currency reserves for the country's needs, and that it was "a psychological war on the exchange market."

He said that the sanctions were "targeting the people" and added: "The enemy believes it can break the resistance of the Iranian people, but it is wrong."

The president said Western nations "lie when they say that the sanctions are pressuring the government. There is no reason for these (currency) fluctuations. The enemy has thrown a rock on our path. Everybody needs to help to remove the rock."





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