Ahmadinejad, Iran - AP archive - 18.5.10
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran, Tuesday, May 18, 2010. Photo by AP
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Russia on Tuesday dismissed the new Western sanctions targeting Iran's financial and energy sectors as "unacceptable," warning that such measures would hurt the chances of renewing talks with Tehran over its nuclear program.

"We again underline that the Russian Federation considers such extraterritorial measures unacceptable and contradictory to international law," Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said in the statement.

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Iran's foreign ministry also condemned the new measures as a "show [of] the hostility of these countries toward Iran."

"These sanctions are futile repetitious efforts which will not affect Iran's economy," Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said in Tehran. "Such illogical, intimidating moves are propaganda and psychological war which however will not change our nation's will but just make us more united."

Italy, meanwhile, offered its full backing to the economic sanctions against Iran announced by the U.S. government, new Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi said on Tuesday, adding to international pressure against Tehran's nuclear programme.

"Italy supports with full conviction the plan for economic sanctions announced by the U.S. administration," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Tough new sanctions were announced Monday by the United States, Britain, France and Canada following a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran was seeking nuclear warheads.

According to an executive order issued by the White House to the U.S. Congress on Monday, Washington will be "expanding sanctions to target the supply of goods, services, technology, or support… to Iran for the development of its petroleum resources and maintenance or expansion of its petrochemical industry."

But these measures fall short of the statements made by French President Nikolas Sarkozy earlier Monday, calling world powers to target Iran's central bank by freezing overseas assets. The American measures do not specifically deal with The Central Bank of Iran, and only target its petroleum industry.

EU governments could reach a preliminary deal on Tuesday to add about 190 Iranian people and entities to a list of those targeted by asset freezes and travel bans, diplomats said.

Canada will immediately ban the export to Iran of all goods used in the petrochemical, oil and gas industry as part of an international sanctions package, the government said on Monday.

קראו כתבה זו בעברית: רוסיה מתייצבת לצד איראן: הסנקציות אינן מתקבלות על הדעת