Middle East

Iran calls US sanctions on paramilitary force 'blind vindictiveness'

A man takes a glance at a newspaper with a picture of US president Donald Trump on the front page, in the capital Tehran on July 31, 2018. Iran's currency traded at a fresh record-low of 119,000 to the dollar today, a loss of nearly two-thirds of its value since the start of the year as US sanctions loom. / AFP / ATTA KENARE

TEHRAN: Iran called new U.S. sanctions against its paramilitary Basij group an act of "blind vindictiveness" on Wednesday.

"America's new sanctions are a clear insult to international and legal mechanisms and a result of the American government's blind vindictiveness against the Iranian nation," said foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi.

He called Washington's "lack of adherence to international legal mechanisms" a threat not only "to the Iranian people's interests but also the world's stability and security."

On Tuesday, the U.S. Treasury Department slapped sanctions on the Basij paramilitary group along with a network of more than 20 businesses that were providing it financing.

The U.S. pulled out of a landmark 2015 nuclear accord between Iran and six world powers in May and is reimposing punishing sanctions on the Middle Eastern country, hoping to pressure Tehran into what President Donald Trump calls a "better deal".

"Contrary to the American government's hypocritical claims in support of the Iranian people, such acts obstruct the people's ability to benefit from economic relations with the international community," Ghasemi added.

 

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