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US sanctions on Iran threaten ties with Russia

Relations between the US and Russia may suffer following new, wide-ranging US sanctions introduced against Iran.

Moscow: Relations between the US and Russia may suffer following new, wide-ranging US sanctions introduced against Iran, said a Russian Foreign Ministry official 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," said Maria Zakharova, deputy director of the information and press department at the Foreign Ministry in a statement.

US President Barack Obama signed a fresh set of sanctions into law Monday to pressure Iran over its nuclear programme.

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," it said.

Moscow "does not recognise" the raft of US 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 programme has long remained a key bone of contention between the US and Russia.

The US and the European Union have applied a series of economic sanctions against Tehran to force it to stop its nuclear programme, 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.


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