Russia says U.S. measure threatens Iran nuclear deal
Echoing Iran, Russia said on Friday that a new U.S. measure targeting companies and individuals for supporting Tehran's nuclear program violated the spirit of a deal reached with major powers last month and could hinder its implementation, Reuters reported.
"The U.S. administration's decision goes against the spirit of this document," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said of the Nov. 24 interim agreement under which Tehran would curb its nuclear program in exchange for limited relief from economic sanctions over the next six months.
"Widening American 'blacklists' could seriously complicate the fulfilment of the Geneva agreement, which proposes easing the sanctions regime," Zakharova said in a statement.
Under pressure from Congress to demonstrate that it is not easing up on sanctions on Iran's oil sector or on its nuclear and missile programs, the Obama administration on Dec. 12 announced an expanded list of companies and individuals that it said it would target to block their trading activities around the world, NY Times reported on Dec. 13.
On November 24, Iran and the G5+1 reached a deal in Geneva after days of hard work and intensive negotiations.
The U.S. and its Western allies suspect Iran of developing a nuclear weapon - something that Iran denies. The Islamic Republic has on numerous occasions stated that it does not seek to develop nuclear weapons, using nuclear energy for medical researches instead.