MOSCOW, Feb. 11-- Russia's deputy foreign minister on Tuesday dismissed the expansion of U.S. sanctions against Iran as "illegitimate."
Sergei Ryabkov told reporters at the Iranian embassy in Moscow that the unilateral sanctions have no legal ground and will destroy "a healthy and positive basis for further progress to settle the Iranian nuclear issue."
Last week, the U.S. Treasury Department announced actions targeting a number of companies and individuals around the world for evading sanctions.
However Ryabkov said the sanctions contradict the normal advancement of international relations and hamper the progress of nuclear talks.
A six-month deal was reached last November between Iran and six world powers, in which Tehran agreed to halt part of its nuclear activities in exchange for limited sanctions relief.
Iran and the P5+1 group, namely five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany, will start talks on a final nuclear deal on Feb. 18 in Vienna.
Iran celebrated the 35th anniversary of the Islamic revolution on Tuesday.
The 1979 Islamic revolution toppled the U.S.-backed regime of Shah and brought the country under the leadership of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, an event seen as a turning point in Iran's history.