West will pay price for sanctions, says Iran

Iran’s finance minister on Friday warned that the West would “pay a price” for sanctions on his country over its nuclear programme, while vowing to stem a severe currency crisis.

Western powers have tightened economic sanctions against Tehran in recent years, sparking a drop in crucial oil exports and a collapse of its currency, pounding the economy and sending unemployment higher.

Finance minister Shamseddin Hosseini echoed Tehran’s regular criticism of the sanctions, saying they were part of an “economic war” and warned that Western firms would suffer as Iran moves to trade with other nations.

“The sanctions are not only affecting the Iranian economy but also other countries and foreign companies,” Hosseini told a press briefing in Tokyo, where he is attending International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings.

“Turkey has now become our important trading partner in place of Germany, while China may grab the market share that Japan used to have,” he added.

Hosseini also warned: “Those who imposed sanctions are to pay a price.” Talks between Iran and major powers on the nuclear impasse have stalled for years, as Tehran insists is atomic programme is for peaceful purposes while the West accuses it of working to develop nuclear weapons.

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