Speaking on state television, Mehmanparast accused the West of using the nuclear issue as a pretext to apply pressure on Tehran for “insisting on its own independence”.
“These sanctions are adopted under the pretext of Iran’s peaceful nuclear activities... but even if our nuclear issue is resolved, these countries will certainly use other excuses to put pressure on us.”
The European Union on Monday toughened sanctions against Iran, targeting its dealings with Iran’s banks, shipping and gas imports and banning trade in metals.
“This is a sign of our resolve,” said British foreign secretary William Hague. “That we will step up the pressure, we will intensify the pressure and we will continue to do so over the coming months unless negotiations succeed.”
The measures add to a series of sanctions from Europe, the US and the UN Security Council designed to pressure Iran to curb its nuclear programme.