May 21st, 2012
07:50 AM ET

Iran economic minister: Sanctions not hurting us

As Iran prepares to meet again with the U.S. and other countries to negotiate its nuclear program, the country's economic minister insisted in an interview Sunday with CNN's Fareed Zakaria that the crippling sanctions imposed on Iran were not having as much of an impact as believed.

Minister Shamseddin Hosseini argued that his country has a much broader economy than just oil.

"Last year, the total non-oil exports increased by 30 percent and according to the latest reports that the International Monetary Fund has published, Iran's GDP – Iran's per capita income has also increased," Hosseini said in the interview on CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS."

Zakaria pressed Hosseini on the argument, asking how it could be that the country is not affected when 80% of its foreign revenues come from foreign sales of oil.

Watch the exchange in the video above (or check out the transcript below):

ZAKARIA: You're telling me that these restrictions on oil, particularly if the European Union goes through with them, the Indians say they're buying less from you, the Japanese say they are buying less form you, these are not going to affect you, 80 percent of your external revenues come from oil.

HOSSEINI: We must pay close to attention when we speak of oil revenues and sanctions against oil sales. Who are the winners and the losers of such sanctions?

Indeed, it is difficult, but not just for Iran. And we can all rest assured that there will be a considerable increase in international oil market prices. Now, is this the best approach?

ZAKARIA: Just to be clear because this is very important, you think that if the European Union goes through with the oil embargo, which is slated to go into effect in July, oil prices will go up very substantially?

HOSSEINI: Certain, certainly. Even the IMF says that as a result of these sanctions, oil prices will perhaps reach and hover around $160 per barrel. And the decrease in financial and economic output in Europe will truly be felt.

ZAKARIA: How long can you endure these kind of sanctions because they are affecting your banks, they're affecting, now, the Senate is passing ones relating to the oil – the tanker business.

How long can you continue to withstand these sanctions?

HOSSEINI: We have been the subject, the target of sanctions for the last 33 years. We never went looking for these sanctions, but during the last few years, of course, the volume of these sanctions have increased tremendously.

And we believe that those who impose the sanctions have exerted the maximum level of pressure they have been capable of, but the reality that is showing itself today is that the capacities and the economic specialties and strengths of Iran are such that can cause a backlash – an economic backlash for the imposers of these sanctions and their countries.

This really shows that the economy – economic strength of Iran is in such a way that can withstand these sanctions and will not be the only economy to suffer.

ZAKARIA: So if – but if these sanctions do cost you a lot, cost the average Iranian a lot, why not allow the IAEA inspectors in, say to them you can go to every facility including the ones that we have previously not allowed you to.

We have nothing to hide. You can see all our nuclear programs and certify that it's peaceful and once you get that certification, these sanctions will get lifted.

HOSSEINI: We have said time and time again that we will not give up this unalienable right. We are a member – full signatory and abiding member of the IAEA.

There are conversations and dialogues taking place currently, but there cannot be a hegemony and a double-standard in the treatment of member countries such as Iran.

If these principles can be understood and applied with mutual respect, I think we will be in a much better place.

ZAKARIA: Final question, what will the price of oil be in August of this year?

HOSSEINI: I believe that we must, at least, in order to have sustainable growth for the producers maintain prices at $100 per barrel. But keep in mind the following, can the industrial powers get out of the current situation they're in with these prices?

Therefore, the answer being obvious, the prices will go considerably higher than $100 per barrel. If we see reforms – tangible reforms in this behavior, we will be in a much better place. If we don't, we will witness an increase in international oil markets.

Post by:
Topics: Iran

soundoff (260 Responses)
  1. EK222

    Sanctions really never help. They only help to motivate the other country to hate us even more. We need to stop trying to control the planet.

    May 22, 2012 at 3:33 am | Reply
    • Patrick

      STOP everything, I cannot bear it the fact that Iranians might hate me.
      STOP the sanctions, I cannot live with myself if Iranians hate me.

      May 22, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Reply
  2. Nice try...

    "These sanctions are not hurting us." LOL.

    May 22, 2012 at 9:44 am | Reply
  3. I am invulnerable

    That didn't hurt [wipes bloody nose]. That didn't hurt either [wipes bloody nose]... ad infinitum.

    May 22, 2012 at 9:56 am | Reply
    • Patrick

      You are good, very good!

      May 22, 2012 at 8:43 pm | Reply
  4. Coprolito

    All Muslim clerics like the Ayatollah (the top Iranian authority) don't care about sanctions and the harm they are inflicting to their people. These rats act the same way all the time, they send suicide bombers or incite the masses consisting of millions of brainless Muslims to commit all kinds of atrocities as long as they are immune to pain, suffering and anxiety. They manipulate the "Satanic Verses" ... of the Koran to impose their will on the people.

    May 22, 2012 at 10:02 am | Reply
  5. Barry G.

    Even though there are, no doubt, many cracks and loopholes in the embargo on Iran, I'm sure that the sanctions are having and adverse effect.

    And for those who say they're not, then I trust you won't mind if we keep them in place, until you get your act together.

    May 22, 2012 at 11:44 am | Reply
  6. Uber News Network-UNN

    With friends like India who needs enemies. India has been double crossing Americans in Iran and elsewhere for ages. Enough is enough. First, they were doing underhand deals in oil against the wishes of Obama and Hillary and now in wheat. All aid to India should be suspended forthwith. No more jobs, call centers, money, tech support.

    May 22, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Reply
    • Patrick

      As swipe the focus is IRAN.

      May 22, 2012 at 8:41 pm | Reply
      • Tandoori Tikka

        You moron...don't you have anything intelligent to say?

        May 23, 2012 at 8:46 am |
      • Patrick


        May 23, 2012 at 8:52 am |
  7. 0hmama

    1973. ride ur bikes and ur priests

    May 22, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Reply
  8. Albert Von Sachsen

    Why would the Minister admit to any damage done by the sanctions. Typical of the regime in place is to boast about everything, in order to impress. Usually this kind of statement means the Iranian people are suffering, while the ruling class is not. So much potential wasted by a Junta of well versed Koranic experts, who unfortunately are ignorant in pretty much everything else.

    May 22, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Reply
  9. KC

    This regime has been making this claim for a long time. In fact, they claim that as a result of the sanctions they are more self-sufficient. Yet, every time they sit down to negotiate with anybody, be it IAEA, 5+1, etc., the first thing out of their mouths is to lift the sanctions.

    May 22, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Reply
  10. 0hmama

    the day will come when moslims will drown the zionest eviil with only pipi and spit.

    May 22, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Reply
    • Albert Von Sachsen

      Coma KK, cabron

      May 22, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Reply
  11. Albert Von Sachsen

    OhShama: You unnnerrrstan spelin good?

    May 22, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Reply
    • Patrick

      Thanks Albert I needed that!

      May 22, 2012 at 8:39 pm | Reply
      • Tandoori Tikka

        I have somethin better that you need.

        May 23, 2012 at 8:45 am |
      • Patrick

        Hey chicken, you have nothing intelligent to say so, in typical form, you resort to threats.

        May 23, 2012 at 8:53 am |
      • Tandoori Tikka

        Don't you want to see what I have for is not a threat but an Indian turkey ....Mwah ha ha ha !!!

        May 23, 2012 at 9:58 am |
      • Patrick

        Oh Oh , well wait for me I will be right there!

        May 23, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  12. Trey Grant

    More lies from the Iranian regime, actual economic data says otherwise. Things are about to get very bad for Iran, if they government doesn't crash after the new and much worse round of sanctions, Israel will strike before the fall, and Obama has no choice but to support him or risk losing the election.

    May 22, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Reply
    • Iran Lover

      The fact is that the Obama administration, and the whole of the U.S. intelligence community, knows full well that Iran is not developing nuclear weapons, has not demonstrated any intention to do so, and stopped all weaponization activities a decade ago.

      Even the top brass of the Obama administration and military leadership, from Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey have publicly declared that Iran is not pursuing nuclear weapons.

      May 23, 2012 at 4:21 am | Reply
  13. 0hmama

    Jew are you? Hitler was one too

    May 22, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Reply
    • Patrick

      Yeah? well your mother wears army boots.

      May 22, 2012 at 8:37 pm | Reply
  14. bob

    The sanctions aren't going to work and everyone knows it -fact! LMAO 😉

    May 22, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Reply
    • Patrick

      What colour is the sky in your world?

      May 22, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Reply
      • Iran Lover

        As colored as the thick glasses you are wearing which distorts your reality!

        May 23, 2012 at 3:19 am |
      • Patrick


        May 23, 2012 at 6:10 am |
  15. msadr

    Did that guy speak even one sentence that wasn't laced with b. s ?

    May 22, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Reply
  16. Total non Sense

    The only sanction that will work is the total destruction of Iran. every single nuclear and military/goverment installation must be destroyed. This is THE ONLY SOLUTION. Islam must be destroy at all cost and the destruction of Iran is a good start.

    May 22, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Reply
  17. K.I.M.

    Exerting pressure has not and will not yield any fruit. Iran will not simply be dissuaded. Military strike is the only option and once again, Israel must make that unilateral decision.

    Kurdistan Independece Movement

    May 22, 2012 at 8:47 pm | Reply
    • Patrick

      You are a lying s cu m muslim trying to create more sh iet than already is.
      Asking for Israel to "make that unilateral decision" is a dead give away.
      Lies, more lies, more B.S. more lies, more trying to create more sh iet, more lies, even more lies.
      We know you are lying because your mouth is open.

      May 22, 2012 at 9:05 pm | Reply
      • Tandoori Tikka

        You seem to be a hindu zealot giving a bad name to manny the snout

        May 23, 2012 at 8:44 am |
      • Patrick

        You so smart.

        May 23, 2012 at 8:54 am |
  18. 0hmama

    peace on earth. Nuke Israel first. Send them to jew heaven,the bank

    May 22, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Reply
    • Peikovianyi

      See that drone?

      May 22, 2012 at 9:22 pm | Reply
  19. Peikovianyi

    Sounds like they need more sanctions.

    May 22, 2012 at 9:21 pm | Reply
  20. Freddie Nerk

    It wasn't Iran that massacred millions of Jews in WW2 or committed atrocities against Muslims in Kosovo or caused millions to die in the Soviet Union or killed hundreds of thousands in wars in Korea/Vietnam/Iraq/Afghanistan....this whole issue is just about politics of the West trying to control the Middle East. Their proxies-the Saudis-are far more brutal dictators and terrorist funders than Iran. Why doesn't Zakaria investigate that instead of preddling anti-Iran sentiment?

    May 22, 2012 at 9:52 pm | Reply
    • Iran Lover

      At last! thank you bro for reasoning instead of ranting!

      May 23, 2012 at 3:24 am | Reply
    • Patrick

      Irrelevant – stick to current events.

      May 23, 2012 at 6:09 am | Reply
      • Tandoori Tikka

        Just shut up....keep your head down and read the comments. no one is interested in your immature uncooth diatribes. get a does not seem you have one. Now scoot and have beef masala.

        May 23, 2012 at 8:43 am |
      • Patrick

        Hey chicken, the word is "uncouth".

        May 23, 2012 at 8:55 am |
      • Tandoori Tikka

        You still don't get it do you? Dumb f turkey ....uncooth for hindus like you uncouth for indian hindus at large !!! mwah ha ha ha !!!

        May 23, 2012 at 9:56 am |
      • Patrick

        Sure thing buddy!

        May 24, 2012 at 11:44 am |
  21. deep blue

    In other news, a four year old said, "I like timeouts"

    May 22, 2012 at 10:54 pm | Reply
    • Mister Jones

      Ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!

      May 23, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Reply
  22. krm1007

    Of course the sanctions are probably not hurting enough....Why? because with friends like India who needs enemies. India has been double crossing Americans in Iranand stabbing them in the back. India has been transferring American technology to Iran dealing in oil and now name just a few. It is time for Americans to stop all aid and transfer to American technology to India.

    May 23, 2012 at 8:29 am | Reply
  23. Soltan Afsanjani

    New, More Dangerous Hindu Extremist Groups Emerge in India

    Christians concerned as rightwing factions splinter to form militant outfits.
    PUNE, India, October 29 (CDN) — After more than a decade of severe persecution, India’s Christian minority is growing increasingly concerned over the mushrooming of newer and deadlier Hindu extremist groups.

    Gone are the days when Christians had to watch out only for the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council) and its youth wing, Bajrang Dal, which are closely linked with the most influential Hindu extremist umbrella organization, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). With voter support faltering for the RSS’s political wing, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), moderate and extremist sections within the Hindu nationalist movement are blaming each other, and militant splinter groups have emerged.

    May 23, 2012 at 8:35 am | Reply
    • Soltan Afsanjani

      Claiming to be breakaway factions of the RSS, new groups with even more extreme ideology are surfacing. The Abhinav Bharat (Pride of India), the Rashtriya Jagran Manch (National Revival Forum), the Sri Ram Sene (Army of god Rama), the Hindu Dharam Sena (Army for Hindu Religion) and the Sanatan Sanstha (Eternal Organization) have launched numerous violent attacks on Christian and Muslim minorities.

      May 23, 2012 at 8:36 am | Reply
      • Soltan Afsanjani

        The Sri Ram Sene was one of the most active groups that launched a series of attacks on Christians and their property in and around Mangalore city in the southern state of Karnataka in August-September 2008, according to a report, “The Ugly Face of Sangh Parivar,” published by the People’s Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL), in March 2009. In Jabalpur city in the central state of Madhya Pradesh, suspected extremists from the Abhinav Bharat attacked the Rhema Gospel Church on Sept. 28, according to the Global Council of Indian Christians. They had earlier attacked Pastor Sam Oommen and his family in the same city on Aug. 3.

        The Hindu Dharam Sena has become especially terrifying for Christians in Jabalpur. Between 2006 and 2008, Jabalpur was plagued by at least three anti-Christian attacks every month, according to The Caravan magazine. In the western state of Gujarat and other parts of the country, the Rashtriya Jagran Manch has also violently attacked Christians, according to news website Counter Currents.

        May 23, 2012 at 8:38 am |
      • Soltan Afsanjani

        At a meeting held in New Delhi (Oct. 24), the secretary general of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, Archbishop Stanislaus Fernandes, said the rise of fundamentalism was “seriously worrying” the church in India. The meeting was held to discuss prospects for immediate enactment of federal legislation to counter religious extremism with the proposed Communal Violence (Prevention, Control and Rehabilitation of Victims) Bill.

        May 23, 2012 at 8:40 am |
    • Patrick

      You seem to think that if you repeat it enough, we will switch our focus to India and stop talking about Iran.
      You would be very very very wrong.
      Rote learning went out with the middle ages.

      May 23, 2012 at 8:59 am | Reply
      • Tandoori Tikka

        You dumb f....can't you read english more than one sentence? Perhaps you have ADD? Read it again or have someone read it to you and you will learn something.

        May 23, 2012 at 9:53 am |
  24. Michael

    As soon as I started to read:
    "HOSSEINI: We must pay close to attention when we speak of oil revenues and sanctions against oil sales. Who are the winners and the losers of such sanctions"
    I realized Hosseini was using the typical Iranian Dictatorship rhetoric using language to avoid discussing reality.
    I feel great sorrow for the Iranian people, who are very bright and capable, but condemned to a life cut off from the real world by a bunch of idiotic morons who don't hold the Iranian people in their best interest.
    Hopefully someday, soon, they will be free of these idiots.

    May 23, 2012 at 11:52 am | Reply
  25. randy

    isnt it funny , every time america trys to punish , or put sanctions on others

    americans end up paying double for there gas and would thank they would learn

    May 23, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Reply
  26. 0hmama

    "BY WAYS OF DECEPTION' read this book . Written by a former Mosad agent. See how the Zionest nation fools the US in making all the wrong moves. You will be lucky to find that book. The f jews try to buy all the copies off the market. Read it and weep

    May 23, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Reply
  27. Really?

    THESE IRANIANS ARE SO CRAZY. Nothing but lies out of their mouths,

    May 23, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Reply
  28. 0hmama

    Once the moslim brothers tumble the kingdom of suadi arabia the americans better get ur bicycles ready . 1973. Live and learn. Alternative fuel VASILINE

    May 23, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Reply
1 2 3 4 5

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.