TEHRAN: Iran's Guardian Council slammed US sanctions on five officials in charge of vetting candidates for Friday's parliamentary election, saying they showed Washington's disdain for democracy.
"America's regime has shown through illegal sanctions... on members of the Guardian Council that it has nothing to do with democracy," said the Council's spokesperson, Abbas Ali Kadkhodaee, who was among those hit with sanctions.
"We are now even more determined to safeguard the people's vote," he tweeted.
Iranians began voting on Friday in a key parliamentary election in which conservatives are expected to dominate.
Ahmad Jannati, the head of the Guardian Council who was also targeted in the latest US sanctions, poked fun at the Americans over his designation.
"I wonder, what are we going to do about all that money we have in American accounts?" the 92-year-old said after casting his ballot with Kadkhodaee at his side, Tasnim news agency reported.
"Now we can't even go there for Christmas anymore!" he added, laughing along with reporters.
Top Iranian officials usually dismiss US sanctions against them by saying they would not be affected as they have no foreign dealings or assets in the United States.
The foreign ministry also said the new sanctions showed "nothing but the failure and hopelessness" of the United States and its "maximum pressure" campaign against the Islamic republic.
Iran "cares not one jot for you or your insane and cowardly sanctions and will resolutely continue its path towards a bright future," ministry spokesperson Abbas Mousavi said in a statement.
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