10012014Wed

Iran VP: We will break Obama's 'grasping hands'

The Associated Press

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's vice president said Monday that Tehran will break the 'grasping hands' of newly re-elected President Barack Obama, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Mohammad Reza Rahimi also said Iran will overcome U.S.-led sanctions against the country.

"We will break grasping hands of Obama and we will be successful in bypassing the sanctions," Rahimi was quoted as saying during a research and scientific exhibition at Tehran University.

Iranian officials dismiss the impact of last week's U.S. elections, suggesting it will have little impact on Washington's Iran policy. On Thursday President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad mocked the cost of campaigning, dubbing the vote a "battleground for capitalists"

Rahimi is known for hardline anti-Western statements. In June, he blamed global drug use on the teachings of Jewish holy texts.

The sanctions have hit Iran's economy hard in the past months. They are imposed over Iran's nuclear program, which the West suspects is aimed at weapons development. Iran denies the charge, saying its program is for peaceful purposes like power generation and cancer treatment.

Ahmadinejad and allies like Rahimi are anxious to play up Iran's confrontation with the West. Conservatives who used to back him, but who turned against him last year over his perceived challenge to the clerical establishment, say he has mismanaged the economy and contributed to the country's woes.

Iran's parliament plans to question Ahmadinejad over the economy, and in the past has accused Rahimi of misusing public funds. The vice president denies the allegations.

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