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Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov has expressed his regret over the new United States’ sanctions against the Islamic Republic, saying bans are not an appropriate means to resolve issues.

“We regret this happened. We have always expressed our stance that sanctions are not an acceptable and suitable tool for resolving certain issues,” TASS new agency quoted Ryabkov as saying on Monday.

The US Treasury Department said on February 3 that Washington had imposed sanctions on 13 individuals and 12 entities as part of bids to ratchet up pressure on Iran chiefly over Tehran’s missile program.

The move against Iran is the first by the US government since President Donald Trump took office on January 20.

In a statement on the same day, the Iranian Foreign Ministry slammed as illegal the US anti-Iran sanctions and said the Islamic Republic would deliver a "proportionate and reciprocal" response to the move.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran, with the backing of the wise participation and support of the great Iranian nation, will respond proportionately and reciprocally to any move that targets the interests of the Iranian people,” the statement said.

The Russian diplomat further said Iran’s missile test launches do not violate the landmark nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries, including Russia, in July 2015.

Russia believes that Iran’s missile test launches do not create any problem in the implementation of the JCPOA, Ryabkov added.

He emphasized that the international community is “now focused on the pace of” the JCPOA implementation, saying Moscow also celebrated the first anniversary of the nuclear agreement’s enactment in January.

“We do not see any special problems in this area. We want to stress again that missile launches with the use of missile technologies are not a breach of the [Joint Comprehensive] Plan of Action and UN Security Council Resolution 2231. We have brought this position to the notice of the US side as well," the Russian deputy foreign minister said.

Moscow expects that “strict and clear-cut reading” of the JCPOA provisions and Resolution 2231 would be “the main thing in the determination of Washington’s further policy in this direction," Ryabkov added.

The United States claims that a recent missile test by Iran violated Resolution 2231 that endorsed the JCPOA.

Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan said on February 2 that Iran’s “successful” recent ballistic missile test had breached neither the deal nor the resolution.

"Iran's missile tests are not, and have never been, in violation of the JCPOA or Resolution 2231,” Dehqan added.

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Russian US sanctions Sergey Ryabkov
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