Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Sunday that Iran's economy hasn't suffered from the sanctions imposed on it by the West, and further insisted that Iran has actually been positively affected by them, French news agency AFP reported.
"These sanctions will definitively mark a new level of progress in our economy," Ahmadinejad told ABC News in an interview in New York. "We have turned sanctions around and created opportunities out of this."
Ahmadinejad also said that Iran wanted further nuclear talks with the P5 plus one – which includes the 5 permanent UN Security Council members Britain, China, France, Russia, and the United States, plus Germany.
The West fears Iran’s nuclear program will be used to produce weapons of mass destruction and refers to the nation’s use of rhetoric against the U.S. and Israel in particular to support the claim, however Tehran vehemently denies it.
"We have a plan to discuss things, to discuss issues," Ahmadinejad told ABC. "We've always been ready to discuss issues as long as they're within the legal framework and based on principles of justice and respect."
Ahmadinejad stressed that Iran is fully complying with the UN inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
"All our nuclear activities are being controlled by cameras," he said. "Material that is moved is weighed, it's examined and controlled. So as far as the IAEA supervision is concern, there's no blockage of that supervision."
Asked about the "uniform" nature of the sanctions now imposed against Iran, by the United Nations, the United States, the European Union, Japan, South Korea, Russia, even China, Ahmadinejad responded: "It is meaningless to us."
"We do take sanctions seriously, but taking it seriously is different from believing that they are effective," he said.
"We consider this and have recorded it as a serious violation of international law. It was illegal. It was wrong. It wronged the people of Iran by insulting them."
The Iranian president insisted that the sanctions will have no crippling effect on businessmen trying to trade or on Iran's shipping industry.
"None of this is a problem," he said. "I want to stress, it is not a problem. If you want to say it's effective, why not wait for the next six months or a year to see with your own eyes whether there are effects or not? And I tell you there are none."
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