TEHRAN, July 3 (Xinhua) -- Iran denounced a new round of U.S economic sanctions as complicating the dispute on the country's nuclear program that the West suspects of aiming at military purposes, Tehran Times reported Wednesday.
"There is no doubt that the imposition of the new sanctions is a failed policy, and we are surprised to see that the U.S. government and its allies repeated the wrong and failed measure," said Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Araqchi.
Banning trades in gold with the Islamic republic and putting further embargo on its shipping and automobile industries, the fresh U.S. sanctions, which came into effect Monday, aimed to put more pressure on Iran to give up its controversial nuclear program.
Circumventing Western sanctions that restrict money return for energy exports, Iran is believed to have received gold from its natural gas and oil customers, including Turkey.
"The intensification of sanctions is not a solution to Iran's nuclear issue and will not help settle it," said the Iranian spokesman, asserting "lifting sanctions can help break the stalemate and serve as a confidence-building measure."
The Islamic Republic's energy and financial sectors are under intensive pressure from the United States and its allies, who suspect that Iran's nuclear program might aim at weapon-grade activities while Iran insists that it is only for civilian use.
"It is time for Iran and the West to enter serious negotiations and take confidence-building measures to settle the long-running dispute over Tehran's alleged nuclear activities," Tehran Times quoted Iran's former nuclear chief, Gholam-Reza Aqazadeh, as saying.
"Increasing and intensifying sanctions does not solve any problem, and the West has done whatever they could," Aqazadeh said. "They have to find practical solutions, and it is time for them to consider conciliatory and practical fixes instead of issuing threats."
Stressing the "consensus" among Iranian politicians on preserving the nuclear rights, the former official said, "The Western powers are aware of the fact that Iran would never relinquish its nuclear program."
For his part, Iran's influential cleric and ex-president Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani said the next administration should try to reduce the impacts of sanctions on the Iranian people.
The Chairman of the Expediency Council also expressed hope that president-elect Hassan Rouhani would "take practical steps" and adopt a foreign policy based on "real interaction" with the world in order to curb the effects of the sanctions on ordinary citizens, Press TV reported Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Rouhani, a moderate who won the election on June 14 by winning just over 50 percent of the votes, has pledged to tackle the country's nuclear stand-off with the West. However, the former chief nuclear negotiator has emphasized he will not slacken on defending the country's "civilian" nuclear rights.
Three days after his victory, Rouhani, who will take office in early August, said the United States should "recognize Iran's nuclear rights," stressing "in case we notice any goodwill (from the United States), we will take confidence-building steps that do not violate the interests of our nation."