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Russia’s Lavrov: Sanctions On Iran Banks Violate IMF Charter

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says the sanctions imposed against Iran’s banking system violate the charter of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and are aimed at smothering Iran’s economy.

“I think that the banking system situation breaches the IMF Charter, which demands that all of IMF member states ensure uninterrupted bank services to trade and economic contacts,” Lavrov said.

On December 31, 2011, the US imposed sanctions against Iran seeking to penalize countries for buying Iran’s oil or doing business with its central bank.

On January 23, the EU foreign ministers approved sanctions on Iran’s financial and oil sectors, which ban member countries from importing Iranian crude or dealing with the country’s central bank.

Following the EU sanctions, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) announced its decision to discontinue services to Iranian banks.

“Sanctions against Iran exceeding the UN Security Council resolutions of 2010 and targeting at legal entities or individuals are actually aimed to ‘smother’ the national economy. We did not do that and neither did China. The UN Security Council adopted a highly refined resolution, which confirmed the need for settling the Iranian nuclear problem exclusively at negotiations,” he said.

“However, our Western partners – the United States, the EU, Australia, Japan and some others – started endorsing unilateral sanctions after that. The EU stops buying Iranian crude although many EU member countries are dependent on it. One may say there will be compensation for the deficit but even their refineries were built to process crude from Iran, not from somewhere else, and their readjustment would require large investments, which Europe can hardly afford now,” Lavrov added.

The West accuses Iran of pursuing military objectives in its nuclear energy program with Washington and Tel Aviv using this pretext to threaten Iran with a military strike.

Iran rejects the allegations, arguing that as a committed signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, Press TV reported.

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