Russia’s Foreign Ministry has harshly criticised new US sanctions on Iran, calling them “undisguised blackmail” and warning that relations between Washington and Moscow will suffer if Russian companies are affected.

The US Congress on August 1 slapped sanctions on Iran’s energy, shipping and financial industries as part of an effort to pressure Tehran over its suspected nuclear weapons programme.

The new sanctions would hit foreign companies that mine uranium with Iran or help it export oil by providing tankers, insurance or banking services.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said today in a statement that while Russia supports UN sanctions, it opposes US efforts to spread its legislation throughout the world and “rejects methods of undisguised blackmail used by the US against the companies and banks of other countries.”

(This article was published on August 14, 2012)
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