Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad today denounced European countries for expanding sanctions against Iran, singling out the move against the Central Bank of Iran (CBI).
“We have had no relations with America for the past 32 years so we had no relationship with them yesterday and won't have tomorrow, but we are surprised by these European puppets, who immediately repeat whatever their master says like impotent servants,” Ahmadinejad said in a speech to a large crowd gathered in the city of Pakdasht and broadcast live on state television.
“They have said 'we should cut relations with the central bank and block the money of the Iranian people',” Ahmadinejad added. “Any expropriation of the Iranian people's foreign exchange reserves is considered major theft and the Iranian people will treat those who do this as thieves” [IRIB, 23 November].
Britain, France and the Netherlands have banned all transactions with the Central Bank of Iran. The US has designated Iran as an area of “primary money laundering concern,” a step designed to dissuade non-US banks from dealing with the country. Britain and Canada have also banned all its financial institutions from doing business with Iran.