Fri, 22 Mar 2019

Tehran has called the latest round of U.S. sanctions against Iran an 'insult' to the international order that stems from 'blind vindictiveness' against the Iranian nation.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi made the comments on October 17, the day after the United States slapped sanctions on a network of some 20 Iranian corporations and financial institutions.

The U.S. Treasury Department said the network provides financial support to an Iranian paramilitary force that Washington said recruits and trains child soldiers for Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

Describing the new sanctions as 'cruel and unfair,' Qasemi said Washington's 'lack of adherence to international legal mechanisms' was a threat not only 'to the Iranian people's interests but also the world's stability and security.'

The sanctioned entities include Mobarakeh Steel, the largest steelmaker in the Middle East and North Africa region, which told investors in a statement that the U.S. restrictive measure will not disrupt its "production, financial activities, and exports.'

The new sanctions are part of the United States' economic campaign to pressure Iran over what President Donald Trump's administration describes as its 'malign' role in the Middle East, including support for militant groups.

Washington in May withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers and in August started reimposing sanctions on the Iranian economy that were lifted under the deal in exchange for curbs on Tehran's nuclear program.

A new round of sanctions targeting Iran's oil sector are set to go into effect on November 5.

The U.S. moves have sent Iran's economy into a downward spiral with the national currency, the rial, hitting record lows.

With reporting by AP and AFP

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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