TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Russian Ambassador to Iran Levan Jagarian described US sanctions against the Islamic Republic as “totally illegal”, vowing that Moscow will continue its ties with Tehran in all fields.

“Iran is not a country you can push,” he said in an interview with Russia’s Kommersant daily, adding that exerting pressure on Iran is entirely unconstructive and that Moscow by no means agrees to Washington’s unilateral sanctions against Tehran.

“In our opinion, these sanctions are totally illegal.”

He added that the trade and economic ties between Russia and Iran are actively developing and that the two countries are working on several major joint projects, including the second and third phases of the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant.

“Despite threats from the US, I see no obstacles to the implementation of these projects and the two countries’ cooperation will continue in all fields.”

He underlined that Iran has remained fully committed to its obligations under the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), a fact that has been repeatedly confirmed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Elsewhere, Jagarian described Iran’s advisory presence in Syria as legal.

“The Iranians are there, as well as the Russian military, at the invitation of the legitimate government of the Syrian Arab Republic and participate in the operation to destroy the terrorists,” he said.

Iran and Russia have formed a strong alliance in recent years, with both supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s legitimate government against foreign-backed militancy.

They have also enhanced trade and banking ties since the JCPOA came into force in January 2016.

In January 2017, Iran and Russia held a conference in Tehran to mark 515 years of bilateral relations. In a message to the conference, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called for diversification of relations between the two countries, which he said will contribute to peace and stability in Central Asia and the Middle East.