A senior Iranian official has said economic sanctions imposed by world powers over Iran’s nuclear programme has affected lives of Iranians, disputing several Iranian officials who say sanctions do not have an impact on economy.
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, former president and head of the Expediency Discernment Council, said on Tuesday economic sanctions have crippled Iran’s economy and worsened living conditions.
“Sanctions do not touch upon some Iranians’ lives. But majority of people who are the backbone of the country are affected deeply by these sanctions,” Rafsanjani was quoted by IRNA news agency.
Criticising some Iranian officials, Rafsanjani said: “Those who say sanctions are not important have no idea about people’s pockets.”
“In 2012, we exported petroleum worth of $120 billion . . . Now that amount is lowered to $24 billion,” he added.
Iran and six world powers (Britain, France, China, Russia, the Unites States and Germany) are having nuclear negotiations aimed to limit Iran’s nuclear programme in exchange for an easing of economic sanctions.
While the United States and Russia back a nuclear deal, some countries including Israel and Saudi Arabia argue that Iran should not sign a nuclear deal which allows it to keep centrifuges at its nuclear sites.
In recent weeks, Iranian officials have expressed concern saying they will not accept a “bad” nuclear agreement.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who has the final say on a nuclear deal, has ruled out inspections at military sites.