The U.S. Senate's move to impose new sanctions on Iran is an "unquestionable" violation of Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, Iranian officials say.
The Senate this week approved legislation to impose new sanctions on Iran over its ballistic-missile program and other activities that U.S. legislators say are not related to the nuclear agreement.
"The U.S. Senate's move is unquestionably in breach of both the spirit and the letter of the nuclear deal," Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said on June 16.
"Iran's ballistic program is totally legitimate," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said. "Iran's armed forces will continue to defend the country's security and interests."
Both Qassemi and Velayati said Iran would take "reciprocal measures" if the legislation was enacted.
To become law, the Senate bill would have to pass the House of Representatives and be signed by President Donald Trump.
Trump, a fierce critic of Iran's government, has already imposed new sanctions over Tehran's ballistic-missile program and is open to tough legislative measures.
However, the Senate bill also contains provisions cementing into law existing sanctions on Russia -- a move the administration has cautioned against.
Based on reporting by AFP, dpa, and Reuters