Russia challenges U.S. sanctions on Iran
Russia’s Foreign Ministry says U.S. unilateral sanctions against Iran are contrary to international law, the Russian news agency Interfax reports.
U.S. sanctions taking effect next month will impose punitive measures against companies and countries that do business with Iran. These sanctions, according to U.S. authorities, are meant to force Iran to stop enriching uranium, which they claim may lead to the production of nuclear weapons.
Iran rejects allegations that it is trying to build nuclear weapons and insists that its nuclear program is peaceful.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich told Interfax today: “Russia strictly abides by the restrictions on cooperation with the Islamic Republic of Iran as set by the United Nations, including the UN Security Council Resolution N1929 of June 19, 2010.”
He added: “As regards the multiple unilateral sanctions introduced over the past 20 years by the United States of America under the pretext of concern over Iran's nuclear program, we do not recognize their extraterritorial nature. Moreover, we believe that they run counter to international law.”
Lukashevich said the U.S. attempt to keep foreign companies that deal with Iran from accessing the U.S. financial system — to make payments in U.S. dollars, for example — is in violation of the Bretton Woods principles.
He added: “Using its position as the issuer of the main currency of global trade, the U.S. is effectively abusing the dollar's status by organizing a trade and currency blockade of Tehran and forcing the participation of other countries' economic operators, whom it has been trying to compel to report all their contacts with Iran to the U.S. Department of Finance. This is downright blackmail, up to the point of intimidating foreign business people who did not break ties with Iran by banning them from the U.S.”
In the past year, the U.S. has pressured international financial institutions to stop dealing with Iran, and many Western companies have abandoned industrial projects there, including oil and gas projects.