Iran comments on U.S. sanctions

Iran's foreign minister, Abbas Araqchi, gave a remark on Thursday about the new U.S. sanctions against Iran's nuclear program.

The sanctions were passed by the United States House of Representatives on Wednesday and further curtailed Iran's oil exports. The oil exports from Iran have already been cut by pre-existing sanctions. The new sanctions will add on to these and cut oil exports by one million barrels a day, Xinhua reports.

"The new U.S. sanctions will complicate the country's nuclear issue," Araqchi said, according to Xinhua. "Intensifying sanctions will further complicate (the) nuclear issue and make it even (more) difficult to solve."

The new round of sanctions comes a couple days before Iran President-elect Hassan Rouhani is set to take office. These new limitations on Iran's exportation of oil include heavy penalties for buyers who fail to find alternative supplies, limits to Iran's access to funds in overseas accounts and penalties for countries trading with Iran in other sectors, Xinhua reports.

While Iran spoke out against the new sanctions, Russia also commented on them. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said on Thursday that the new round of U.S. sanctions is counter-productive because of the U.N. sanctions already in place, Reuters reports.

The bill will still have to be passed by the U.S. Senate and signed by President Barack Obama before it becomes law.