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Iran's Rouhani says sanctions may lead to drugs, refugee, bomb 'deluge'

IANS/Tehran 08 Dec 18 | 04:22 PM

Hassan Rouhani

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday warned of a "deluge" of drugs, refugees and attacks on the West if reimposed sanctions by the US weaken Tehran's ability to contain these issues.

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"I warn those who impose sanctions that if Iran's ability to fight drugs and terrorism are affected ... you will not be safe from a deluge of drugs, asylum seekers, bombs and terrorism," said Rouhani at an international conference here attended by Parliament Speakers of China, Russia, Turkey, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

"America's oppressive and illegal sanctions against Iran is a clear instance of terrorism," the President told the second conference on "challenges of terrorism and inter-regional connectivity".

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Speaking on the sidelines of the conference, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that the US poured weapons into the Middle East much more than what the region needs and turned it into a "powder keg", Iranian official news agency IRNA reported.

"The Americans have turned the region into a powder keg. The amount of weaponry, which is sold on the part of the US is unbelievable and quite a lot in excess of what the region needs.

"This indicates the very dangerous policy that the Americans pursue in our region," said Zarif.

Citing a report, Zarif said that weapons supplied by the US and Britain had "fallen into" the hands of splinter groups in Yemen, "some with links to Al Qaeda and Islamic State". He said the oversupply of the arms had not contributed to peace and security in the region in any manner.

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Washington, Zarif said, was trying to portray the realities of the region "upside down", resort to "meaningless" accusations and trouble Tehran's relations with Europe.

The Foreign Minister claimed that the US "has become isolated in the world".

"Washington entered (trade) war with China and even arrested a senior Huawei executive that indicate the US frustration rather than its power, he said.

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