Relations between the United States and Russia may suffer as a result of new, wide-ranging U.S. sanctions introduced against Iran, a Russian Foreign Ministry official said on Monday.
“Washington should…be aware that our bilateral relations will be seriously affected if the applied American restrictions affect Russian economic players that interact with their Iranian counterparts in strict compliance with our legislation and UN Security Council resolutions,” Maria Zakharova, deputy director of the information and press department at the Foreign Ministry, said in a statement on the ministry's website.
U.S. President Barack Obama signed a fresh set of sanctions into law on Monday to pressure Iran over its nuclear program. The law strengthens current restrictions and applies extra penalties on countries working with Iran across a variety of sectors, from oil to insurance and shipping.
“This is about new restrictive measures directed not only against Iran, but against foreign companies and individuals who cooperate with it, including in the spheres of hydrocarbons, petrochemicals, financial and insurance sectors,” the Ministry statement said.
Moscow “does not recognize” the raft of U.S. sanctions against Iran, Zakharova said, adding that applying pressure on Tehran only undermines the chances for a resolution of the issue.
Iran and its nuclear program has long remained a key bone of contention between the United States and Russia. The United States and the European Union have applied a series of economic sanctions against Tehran in a bid to force it to stop its nuclear program, while Russia has called for further negotiations with the Islamic republic.
Russia also supplied Iran with the nuclear technology for its Busher atomic power plant and has previously supplied arms to Tehran.