TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Washington’s sanctions against Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), just like its other unilateral moves, are illegitimate and contravene international law, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said.

"Our approach to unilateral sanctions, in general, is universal. We regard such methods as illegitimate and running counter to the norms of international law and the basic principles of interstate communication," Ryabkov told reporters on Wednesday, the Tass news agency reported. 

Pointing to the so-called Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), he added, "The Americans have turned sanctions into a key tool of their foreign policy".

On August 2, US President Donald Trump signed CAATSA into law.

Section 105 of CAATSA requires the US president to impose the sanctions applicable with respect to a foreign person pursuant to E.O. 13224 on IRGC and foreign persons that are officials, agents, or affiliates of the IRGC. Such sanctions were imposed beginning on the date that is 90 days after enactment of CAATSA, namely October 31, 2017.  

In October, Trump refused to certify the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers, punting the issue to Congress with a threat to withdraw the US from the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), if new sanctions are not imposed on the country.

Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany) reached the 159-page nuclear agreement in July 2015 and implemented it in January 2016.

Since the historic deal was signed in Vienna, the IAEA has repeatedly confirmed the Islamic Republic’s compliance with its commitments under the JCPOA, but some other parties, especially the US, have failed to live up to their undertakings.