Hosseini said in an interview Friday that the US and European Union risked their own financial recoveries, because slackened Iranian oil exports could significantly drive up global gasoline prices. He said western sanctions are posing economic \"difficulties\" for Tehran, but predicted his country would weather the financial onslaught, adding that the damage could spread to the western countries. The Iranian minister said western sanctions have caused problems for Iran\'s central bank, \"but the US and its allies are underestimating a decade of record-high global energy prices\" that has left Iran holding more than $100 billion in foreign-exchange reserves. He also said that Iran\'s trading partners in the Middle East, and in Central and East Asia remain resilient, and that sanctions have forced Tehran to develop its own indigenous business. \"The sanctions have created a lot of disturbances for us,\" said Mr. Hosseini while visiting Iran\'s mission to the United Nations. \"But we have overcome those challenges and difficulties, and are making up for what was lacking.\" Hosseini said his government has been at the forefront of promoting economic renewal by pushing price reforms. Though he acknowledged the measures have fed inflation, he said they also are allowing Tehran to fund social safety-net projects for Iran\'s poor. He said Iran saved $10 billion last year alone by deregulating the prices of electricity. The Iranian economic czar said his country\'s nuclear program and other scientific advances are crucial for Iran\'s efforts to modernize its economy. He said this was the principal reason Iran is pressing ahead with its nuclear work, despite the western sanctions. \"The economies of future generations need…new scientific knowledge,\" Hosseini said. \"Therefore, bearing that weight today, and enduring the hardship, is much better than not gaining the knowledge that the next generation needs.\"