March 24, 2018 / 10:47 AM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Iran should turn to Russia, China after Bolton nomination - senior MP

(Adds details, Iran denounces new U.S. sanctions)

DUBAI, March 24 (Reuters) - Iran should strengthen ties with Russia and China to counter a tougher U.S. stance expected after President Donald Trump’s appointment of John Bolton as national security adviser, a senior parliament member was quoted as saying on Saturday.

Some commentators see Bolton’s nomination as another nail in the coffin of the Obama-era agreement between Iran and world powers to limit Tehran’s nuclear ambitions, already cast into grave doubt by Trump himself.

“Americans are pushing for harder policies towards the Islamic Republic of Iran and we need to strengthen our view towards the East, especially China and Russia,” Alaeddin Boroujerdi, head of parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, told ISNA news agency.

“The use of hardline anti-Iran elements indicates that Americans are pushing for more pressure on Iran, ... mainly as a kick-back to Zionists (Israel) and Saudi Arabia,” Boroujerdi said, referring to Bolton who is widely seen as a pro-Israel “hawk” in the Middle East.

Separately, Iran denounced U.S. charges and sanctions announced against nine Iranians and an Iranian company for allegedly attempting to hack into hundreds of universities worldwide, dozens of firms and parts of the U.S. government on behalf of Tehran’s government.

Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi said the move was “provocative, illegitimate, and without any justifiable reason and another sign of the hostility of the (U.S.) ruling circles towards the Iranian nation”, the state news agency IRNA reported.

“America will certainly fail in preventing the scientific development of the Iranian people through sanctions,” Qasemi said. (Reporting by Dubai newsroom; Editing by Mark Potter)

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