U.S. sanctions on Iran companies raise questions: Russia

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 24, 2011 12:53 PM
U.S. sanctions on Iran companies raise questions: Russia

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The sanctions imposed by the United States on a major Iranian port operator and the country's national airline may affect Russian companies and "raise serious questions," the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Friday.

"Such actions, based on an extra-territorial use of U.S. law, potentially create a situation when Russian business structures cooperating with these companies could be affected," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

It did not specify which Russian entities could be affected.

Washington's latest actions prohibit U.S. entities from any transactions with Tidewater Middle East Co., which operates seven port facilities in Iran, and Iran Air, which serves 35 international and 25 domestic destinations with a fleet of about 40 aircraft.

The sanctions target two major segments of Iran's transport infrastructure that the U.S. Treasury said were being used to aid the country's efforts to develop weapons of mass destruction.

The statement added that the move strengthens "suspicions that the U.S. sanctions policy is pursuing goals other than enforcing the regime of non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction."

"Our position is well known: the unilateral use of U.S. sanctions against Russian individuals and companies goes against the spirit of the relationship between our two countries. Such a policy is categorically unacceptable for us and needs to be reviewed."

(Writing by Gleb Bryanski; editing by Elizabeth Piper)