EU sanctions against Iran will not damage Tehran but will complicate the situation surrounding the country's nuclear program, Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said on Monday.
"Sanctions are not an effective instrument for restricting the rights of nations. They only complicate the situation and draw [the negotiating sides] away from areas of understanding," he was quoted as saying by IRNA news agency.
New sanctions against Iran targeting its foreign trade, financial services, and energy and gas sectors will come into force on July 27 after they are adopted by the EU.
The UN passed on June 9 a resolution imposing a fourth set of sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program, including tougher financial controls and an expanded arms embargo, as well as an asset ban on three dozen companies and a travel freeze on individuals, RIA Novosti reported.
The EU measures, similar to steps taken by the United States, will go further than the UN sanctions, which were softened to secure support of veto-wielding members Russia and China.
The EU sanctions will include a freeze on investment in Iran's oil and gas sector, and a ban on the transfer of technology and equipment and the provision of specialized services.
The sanctions are also expected to ban exports to Iran of goods that may be used to make weapons.
The EU will also introduce new visa restrictions and freeze bank accounts belonging to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. It may also prohibit Iranian banks from all activities in the EU, and Iran's IRISL freight carriers from entering EU waters.
Westerns powers suspect Iran of attempting to build nuclear weapons under the guise of civilian nuclear power generation.
Russia, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, has long opposed sanctions against the Islamic Republic, saying that the issue should be resolved through diplomatic means. However, Moscow finally approved the UN sanctions after Iran failed to prove the peaceful nature of its nuclear activities.