Russia: US sanctions on Iran are illegitimate

Russian Foreign Minister criticizes sanctions reimposed by the US on Iran.

Elad Benari ,

Sergei Lavrov
Sergei Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday that the sanctions reimposed by the US on Iran were not legitimate, Reuters reported.

His comments came a day after the latest US sanctions against Iran came into effect. This is the second round of sanctions against the Islamic Republic since President Donald Trump withdrew in May from the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.

The second round of sanctions hit oil exports, shipping and banking. Eight temporary waivers to the ban on Iranian oil imports were issued to China, India, Italy, Greece, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Turkey.

Lavrov said on Tuesday that Moscow, itself a target of separate US sanctions, expected there would be ways to pursue economic cooperation with Iran despite the reimposition of sanctions.

Speaking in Madrid, Lavrov said Washington had used “unacceptable methods” to pressure operators of the SWIFT global financial network into cutting off Iranian banks.

Russia and its European partners were looking for ways to maintain economic ties with Tehran, he said after meeting his Spanish counterpart Josep Borrell, but provided no details.

Iran has blasted the US move to reimpose sanctions. On Monday, its UN ambassador urged the world body to hold the US accountable for reimposing sanctions on Tehran.

On Tuesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif took to YouTube, posting a message in which he dismissed the new US sanctions and accused Washington of “hostility” against his country.

Last week, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei blasted the US sanctions.

"The world opposes any decision made by Trump. America's goal to reestablish its control failed, and America was defeated by the Islamic Republic among the 40-year-old," he said.