MOSCOW - Russia said on Tuesday that new US measures targeting businesses for evading sanctions against Iran would hinder progress on ending the standoff over Iranian nuclear activity following a landmark interim deal between Tehran and six world powers.



But Washington has stressed that the main superstructure of trade sanctions must still be enforced pending a permanent deal and has designated sanctions evaders twice in the last three months to keep up pressure on Tehran for a negotiated solution.



The Islamic Republic says its nuclear program is peaceful but Western governments have long suspected that it is a front to develop the means to build atomic bombs.



"We clearly reject these kinds of (U.S.) steps," Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.



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