Oct 10, 2018, 4:29 PM
News Code: 83061556
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US pressure on Iran not to work: Fmr UK envoy

Jakarta, Oct 10, IRNA – Former British envoy to Tehran said the US sanctions on Iran would not work, and the country's oil export will not stop.

'Sanctions may have opposite effect,' said Nicholas Hopton, 'Sanctions work when they are coupled with engagement.'

'I don't think Iran's oil export will stop,' he said at a forum on Iran's economy at SOAS University of London on Tuesday evening.

Britain has always been critically engaged with Iran before, during and after the nuclear talks, the diplomat said.

Saying that reforms are required for Iran's economic development, he said, 'We can expect reforms to take place as it has done,' referring to the recent vote of Iran's parliament for FATF bill.

Commenting on Iran President Rouhani's approach in cooperation with international community, that was being carried out 'even before the May's US withdrawal from the nuclear deal', the former ambassador said, 'The approach taken by Rohani's government has been working not just in opening Iran up to the international community and economy, it has been creating investment and engagement of activity from abroad, which is exactly what Iran needs in order to move forward.'

'However, it was held back by lacking banking facilities, lack of global confidence, which takes a long time to build up,' he said concluding, 'Rouhani's government is on the right track.'

Arguing that the reforms in Iran have had obvious effects, he said that the UK had reopened its embassy in Tehran, increased its staff from zero to ten, and promoted volume of trade to 500 million dollars from 200 million dollars in a period of two years.

'They are visible signs of improvement,' Hopton said.

Referring to the 'huge indigenous talent' in Iran, the former ambassador said it is the safe judgment that Iran in the long term be better economically.

'Iranians are very well-educated and Iranian women are dynamic part of work force,' he said.

If Iranian government uses the full potential of its work force, Iran would be one of the big economies of the world, Hopton said.

Nicholas Hopton began his diplomatic work in Tehran in 2015 as Britain's Charge d'affair. Then he was appointed as the ambassador after a year that the two countries' relations level was promoted. In May his mission ended.

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