Iranian Officials Scoff At Impact Of New US Economic Sanctions

"Iranian media and various government officials are deriding the significance of new U.S. economic sanctions against their country, in an apparent wave of nationalistic sentiment. The Iranian News Network is claiming that President Barack Obama was insincere in his offer last year to extend a hand of friendship to Iran. It repeats a statement by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that Mr. Obama ""extended a steel fist, covered by a velvet glove."" In Damascus, Iran's parliament speaker, Ali Larijani, told a press conference that the United States was imposing economic sanctions on his country ""to help Israel,"" and urged Islamic nations to impose their own sanctions on the Jewish state. In Tehran, the head of parliament's national security committee, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, told Fars News Agency that it was ""the U.S. economy that was on the verge of collapse, like that of the former Soviet Union."" Another member of parliament, Mohammad Dehghan, insisted that ""no sane country welc