Mohammad Khazai

Iran’s representative at the United Nations has warned that the intensification of sanctions on Iran could disrupt the progress of international talks over Iran’s nuclear activities.

Mohammad Khazai said in a speech at the Asia Association in New York: “Further pressures could only dissuade Iran from maintaining any optimism in finding a way of resolving the issues through negotiations.”

AFP reports that Khazai stressed that Iran cannot be expected to come to the negotiating table while it is being threatened with a sword hanging over its head.

Khazai maintained that while the nuclear talks can only progress through “mutual respect”, the Obama administration is waging an “economic war” against Iran.

The U.S. and the EU have imposed widespread sanctions on Iran’s energy and financial sectors, which has led to a significant decline in Iran’s oil revenues. The sanctions on the Iranian banking system have also caused a number of shortages, most alarmingly a shortage of crucial medical drugs that is severely affecting Iranians fighting diseases such as cancer, hemophilia and multiple sclerosis.

Nuclear talks between Iran and the world powers are supposed continue on February 26 in Kazakhstan.