U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman has advised against creating any "anxiety" over Washington's possible application of sanctions to Russian companies for cooperation with Iran.
"Well, I know that the United States has not sanctioned a single Russian company during the years of sanction enforcement. And that is because there have been a basis to do so," Sherman told Interfax.
"So, I think that the Russian concern that was addressed in your recent press in response to the legislation just passed by the U.S. Congress, there is really no track record to create that anxiety among Russian companies," the U.S. diplomat said.
Iran has isolated itself and its business from the rest of the world, she said.
"So, companies and banks that do business with Iran are finding it more and more difficult, because all those of Iranian banks and companies are suspects in the world community," Sherman said.
"There have been many instances over the last many months of terrorist activities by Iran and Iranian concert with Hezbollah," she said.
"I know that Russian institutions and Russian companies do not want to a part of financing Iran's nuclear weapons programs or Iran's terrorism," the U.S. diplomat said.
The U.S. Congress' new sanctions against Iran came into force on Saturday. Among other measures, the document allows the U.S. to impose sanctions on companies and persons who cooperate with the Iranian authorities in uranium extraction and the oil and gas sector.
The Russian Foreign Ministry, for its part, has warned that if the new sanctions affect Russian companies and institutions, it could harm Russian-U.S. relations.
"Washington ought to realize that our bilateral relations will suffer seriously if Russian businesses that cooperate with partners from the Islamic Republic of Iran in strict compliance with our legislation and the UN Security Council's resolutions are subject to these American restrictions," the ministry said.
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