Russia yesterday said it will develop military cooperation with Tehran after a United Nations arms embargo on Iran expires next month, despite US efforts to block arms deals.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said earlier this month that Washington would prevent Iran from purchasing Chinese tanks and Russian air defence systems as the UN arms embargo expiration approaches.
The announcement comes a day after US President Donald Trump said that he was imposing sanctions on Iranians for violating a UN arms embargo and demanded enforcement by US allies.
"New opportunities will emerge in our cooperation with Iran after the special regime imposed by UN Security Council Resolution 2231 expires on October 18," Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, told the Interfax news agency.
He said any agreements with Iran would have "nothing to do with the unlawful and illegal actions of the US administration, which is trying to intimidate the entire world".
The Trump administration says it is "snapping back" virtually all UN sanctions on Iran lifted under a 2015 nuclear accord with Tehran negotiated by former president Barack Obama.
Trump's defiant move on Monday came on the very day that the United Nations was celebrating its 75th anniversary with a virtual summit full of calls for greater international cooperation.
The Trump administration said it was imposing sanctions on 27 individuals and entities under a UN resolution including Iran's defense ministry, its Atomic Energy Organization.
"My actions today send a clear message to the Iranian regime and those in the international community who refuse to stand up to Iran," Trump said in a statement.
Trump pulled out of the deal with fanfare in 2018, but Pompeo argues that the United States is still a "participant" in the deal -- with the right to impose sanctions for violations.
The legal argument has been rejected by almost the entire UN Security Council, with European allies of the United States saying the priority is to salvage a peaceful solution to Iran's nuclear programme.