S’pore seeks economic cooperation with Iran despite sanctions

Fars News Agency

Singaporean Foreign Minister George Yong-Boon Yeo, who is in Iran for the 9th ministerial meeting of the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD), stressed that new ways of economic cooperation with Iran can be found despite the UN Security Council and western sanctions against Tehran.

Speaking at a joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart Manouchehr Mottaki here in Tehran on Sunday, Yong-Boon Yeo said, “Of course, sanctions may create some problems but there are ways to set them aside.”

“Sanctions cannot stop economic development,” he added.


The Singaporean minister, however, said that his country is obliged to respect the UN decisions, but at the same time noted, “We can find ways to expand cooperation.”

“We, as a free and independent country, are keen on cooperation and are trying to cooperate (with Iran) in those fields that are not covered by sanctions,” Yong-Boon Yeo stressed.

“We have always provided help in finding a solution to Iran’s nuclear issue and in removing the burden of the sanctions from Iran’s economy so that Iran’s economy can make progress like Malaysia and India,” the minister noted, reiterating that sanctions can never hinder economic development.

As regards Singapore’s stance on Iran’s nuclear issue, Yong-Boon Yeo stated, “We hope that Iran’s nuclear issue would be finally resolved on the basis of mutual respect and trust.”

Meantime, he underlined Iran’s nuclear rights, and stressed that Iran’s right of access and use of the nuclear energy for peaceful purposes should be recognized.

Despite the rules enshrined in the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) entitling every member state, including Iran, to the right of uranium enrichment, Tehran is now under four rounds of UN Security Council sanctions for turning down West’s calls to give up its right of uranium enrichment.

Yet, after the UN Security Council approved the fourth round of sanctions on Iran on June 9, the United States and the European Union started approving their own unilateral sanctions against the Islamic Republic over its nuclear program, mostly targeting the country’s energy and banking sectors.

Tehran has dismissed West’s demands as politically tainted and illogical, stressing that sanctions and pressures merely consolidate Iranians’ national resolve to continue the path.

Political observers believe that the United States has remained at loggerheads with Iran mainly over the independent and home-grown nature of Tehran’s nuclear technology, which gives the Islamic Republic the potential to turn into a world power and a role model for other third-world countries.


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