An Iranian cargo ship
A senior member of Iran's Majlis has downplayed the effect of Western sanctions on Tehran, saying such restrictions have "merely helped propel the Iranian nation to achieve self-sufficiency"
"The sanctions that have been imposed on the Iranian people since the victory of the Islamic Revolution [in 1979] have always been turned into opportunities under the auspices of the Leader [of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei]," said Chairman of the Majlis Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy Alaeddin Boroujerdi on Wednesday.
Western powers including Israel fear that Iran's nuclear programme revolved around weapons development has prompted a spate of intenrational sanctions against the country.
Tehran denies it is developing weapons and says its programme is for peaceful development purposes.
The United States recently imposed new sanctions against Iran, aimed at preventing other countries from importing Iranian oil and conducting transactions with its central bank.
European Union foreign ministers also agreed on January 23 to ban oil imports from Iran and to freeze the assets of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) across the EU which will become fully effective as of July 1.
Iran argues that as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, it has the right to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
The Iranian legislator also commended the Leader’s move in naming the Iranian New Year as the year of “National Production, Supporting Iranian Capital and Labour".
"The wise move can turn the enemies’ threats into an opportunity for the Iranian people, and will be a turning point for the country’s economy," Boroujerdi stated.
“Support for the Iranian production, labor and capital will be a golden opportunity…which can lead to significant developments in all economic fields,” the Iranian lawmaker said.
He further said that the fulfillment of this year’s plans would thwart enemies’ plots against Iran.