The Russian Foreign Ministry has announced that Russian-American relations may suffer if the United States insists on pursuing unilateral sanctions against Iran that have an impact on Russian interests.

A statement on the ministry website says: “Washington should understand that our bilateral relations will suffer considerably if the American restrictions affect Russian economic entities cooperating with partners in the Islamic Republic of Iran in strict compliance with our legislation and UN Security Council resolutions.”

New U.S. sanctions were signed by President Barack Obama last Friday aimed at Iran’s insurance, financial, petrochemical and shipping sectors.

Russia has been consistently critical of U.S. unilateral sanctions that take punitive measures against countries and companies that have dealings with Iran.

Mariya Zakhariva, a spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, said on Monday: “Russia is fully committed to the restrictions on cooperation with Iran that were established by the UN Security Council. However, we do not recognize the unilateral sanctions that were imposed by Washington on the plea of serious concern about Iran’s nuclear program and [that] run counter to international law."

She went on to add: “We refute the methods of undisguised blackmail that are used by the U.S. against banks and companies of other countries."

The West is concerned that Iran’s nuclear program might be directed toward weapons production, but Iran rejects the concerns and insists that its program is peaceful.

While Russia has cooperated with the U.S. in earlier UN resolutions against Iran, it has been highly critical of the recent unilateral sanctions, saying that they’re aimed at bringing about regime change in Iran.