New American sanctions against Iran's Revolutionary Guards provoked a fiery response from Iran today, along with criticism from allies China and Russia. Iran's foreign ministry told the BBC that the sanctions were "contrary to international law, without value and, as in the past, doomed to failure." Vladimir Putin compared the US tactic to "mad people wielding razor blades," the BBC reports.
Putin's dismissal, the BBC notes, reflects his belief that sanctions will backfire and make Iran less likely to give up its nuclear program. But the network also notes that the sanctions could have real impact, as the Revolutionary Guards are estimated to control a third of the country's economy, and foreign companies will be reluctant to do business with them for fear of antagonizing Washington.