- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi took aim at President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Wednesday for not leveling with Iranians about the effects of U.N. Security Council sanctions that were passed last month.

“To say that this resolution is like a ‘used hankie’ will not ease the hardships arising from demagogic policies, as it is clear to me that this resolution will affect our nation’s security and economy,” Mr. Mousavi said.

He called the sanctions resolution “oppressive,” saying it “will decrease GDP, increase unemployment, create more hardships for people and widen the gap between us and other developing nations, especially our neighbors.”

Mr. Mousavi, who is widely believed to have won last year’s presidential elections, has been increasingly vitriolic in his attacks on Mr. Ahmadinejad, even as the strength of his “Green Movement” has withered under continuing government repression.

Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, also spoke about sanctions Wednesday, making the unusually candid admission that they “may slow down” Tehran’s nuclear program while adding that they “will not stop the activities.”

“One can’t say sanctions are ineffective,” he said, according to the Iranian Students News Agency.

In addition to the U.N. action, the European Union announced a supplementary package of restrictions last month, while Congress overwhelmingly passed draconian sanctions targeting Iran’s energy and banking sectors.

The U.S. legislation, the “Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act,” was signed into law by President Obama on July 1.