Russian president describes U.S. sanctions on Iran as “detrimental” for global economy

Putin defends Iran against Saudi oil attack accusations

October 2, 2019

TEHRAN – Russian President Vladimir Putin has condemned the September 14 attacks on Saudi Arabian oil infrastructure, saying there is no proof the Islamic Republic had a role in, or was responsible for, the strikes.

“We condemn such acts no matter who is behind (them). It is a destructive event that had a toll on the whole global energy market,” Putin told an audience at an NBC-moderated panel.

“But we’re against shirking the blame upon Iran because there is no real proof behind that and yesterday we spoke about that with President (Hassan) Rouhani. His position is that Iran would not assume any responsibility and is in no way related to that act,” he added, NBC reported.

Yemen’s Houthi movement claimed responsibility for the attacks that initially halved the Saudi kingdom’s oil production. But Saudi Arabia and the U.S. claimed that Iran had a role in, or was responsible for, the attacks on Saudi Aramco’s Abqaiq and Khurais oil facilities. Iran has denied any involvement, calling the accusations “meaningless” and “pointless.”

Asked if he accepted Iran’s denial of involvement, even though U.S. intelligence services had pointed the finger of blame at the Islamic Republic, Putin said these intelligence services “served the foreign policy of the U.S., but they have not come up with any evidence.”

“Let’s not be guided by emotions but by facts,” he added.

Asked about a possible meeting between President Donald Trump and Rouhani, Putin said Russia’s stance is that “dialog is always better than confrontation.” 

“The Russian Federation has been supportive of Iran, wholeheartedly, trying to minimize the negative impacts and risks that are confronting the global energy market,” he added.

The Russian president also described U.S. sanctions on Iran as “detrimental” for the global economy.

U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in May 2018. He has since imposed more than 1,000 individual sanctions on Tehran, which culminated with an oil embargo this May. Zarif himself is also sanctioned.

Last month, the U.S. Department of the Treasury slapped sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) and the country’s sovereign wealth fund, a move Trump described as the “highest level of sanctions”.

MH/PA

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