Russia calls US sanctions against Iran 'illegitimate'

Foreign minister says it is unacceptable to hold dialogue in the language of ultimatums

Russia calls US sanctions against Iran 'illegitimate'

U.S. sanctions against Iran are "absolutely illegitimate and violating the UN Security Council resolutions," Russia's foreign minister said on Tuesday.

It is unacceptable to pursue a policy of ultimatums and unilateral decisions, Sergey Lavrov said at a news conference in Madrid following a meeting with his Spanish counterpart Josep Borrell.

"As for the American measures against Iran, they are absolutely illegitimate. They are carried out in flagrant violation of the UN Security Council decisions, and the forms in which these measures are announced and implemented, of course, cannot but be deeply disappointing," he said.

Washington announced new sanctions on Monday targeting Iran's energy and financial sectors along with its shipping industry.

More than 700 individuals, entities, aircraft, and vessels were blacklisted, including 50 Iranian banks and their domestic and foreign subsidiaries.

Notably, the pressure on the SWIFT operators is unacceptable, Lavrov said.

He said that participant countries of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) are working to support economic connections with Iran under this agreement.

U.S. President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew his country from the 2015 JCPOA in May, setting the stage for Washington to reimpose all of the sanctions it lifted as part of the agreement.

All of the other signatories -- China, the European Union, France, Germany, Iran, Russia and the United Kingdom -- have remained in the deal. 

The accord provided Iran with billions of dollars in relief from international sanctions in exchange for sweeping curbs on and inspections of its nuclear program.

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