ISTANBUL — New U.S. sanctions targeting Iran are a breach of its nuclear deal with world powers and an attempt to abolish the accord, Iranian officials said Thursday, adding that the government will respond to what it sees as an escalation of U.S. aggression.

“We believe that the nuclear deal has been violated, and we will react appropriately,” Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said on state television Thursday.

The deal curbed Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for the removal of some sanctions, while the new measures target anyone involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program and its powerful Revolutionary Guard Corps.

The “belief in Washington is that . . . Iran must be put under pressure,” Araghchi said. And the goal of the new sanctions, signed by President Trump on Wednesday, is “to destroy” the 2015 agreement.

The administration has criticized the deal for its narrow focus on the nuclear program, without addressing issues such as Iran’s support for proxy militias and its growing ballistic missile arsenal. Trump has questioned the “utility of the agreement,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in remarks at the State Department on Tuesday.

But even as the United States ramps up pressure on Iran – including threats to leave the pact – officials in Tehran have moved cautiously in response, weighing the cost of potential conflict with the benefits of remaining part of the deal.

Before the agreement, which ended the country’s isolation, Iran probably would have balked at calls for diplomacy. As a regional power, it has defied the international community, building up missile defense and backing proxy forces across the region.

But under the nuclear deal, Iran has rejoined the global economy.

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