Iran Sanctions Face Challenge From Possible Russia Bargain

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Global Security Newswire Staff
April 29, 2014, 6:21 a.m.

A pro­pos­al for Rus­sia to sup­ply Ir­an with elec­tri­city and new power fa­cil­it­ies may un­der­mine nuc­le­ar pen­al­ties tar­get­ing Tehran, the New York Times re­ports.

U.S. Treas­ury De­part­ment per­son­nel did not in­dic­ate by press time wheth­er the ini­ti­at­ive would breach sanc­tions aimed at pres­sur­ing Ir­an to ad­dress fears about its nuc­le­ar work, the news­pa­per re­por­ted on Monday. The pos­sible plan — val­ued at between $8 bil­lion and $10 bil­lion — would call for Rus­sia to con­struct a num­ber of non-nuc­le­ar power sys­tems in the Middle East­ern na­tion.

Ir­a­ni­an En­ergy Min­is­ter Ham­id Chit­chi­an and his Rus­si­an equi­val­ent Al­ex­an­der Novak con­ferred on Sunday about the ar­range­ment, amid talks on a sep­ar­ate po­ten­tial plan for Rus­sia to swap bil­lions of dol­lars in non­mon­et­ary goods for oil from the Per­sian Gulf coun­try.

Mo­scow is one of six gov­ern­ments in talks with Ir­an on po­ten­tial lim­its to the coun­try’s activ­it­ies cap­able of sup­port­ing nuc­le­ar-arms pro­duc­tion. Tehran main­tains its atom­ic in­ten­tions have no mil­it­ary ele­ment, but is pur­su­ing the dis­cus­sions in a bid to win the elim­in­a­tion of in­ter­na­tion­al eco­nom­ic pen­al­ties.

Mean­while, Turk­ish law en­force­ment au­thor­it­ies linked of­fi­cials in their coun­try to a pos­sible scheme to evade the sanc­tions through the ex­change of gold, Re­u­ters re­por­ted on Tues­day.

In re­lated news, the In­ter­na­tion­al Atom­ic En­ergy Agency’s top in­spec­tions of­fi­cial traveled to Ir­an late last week for an “in­form­al” dis­cus­sion, the U.N. watch­dog agency said in a Monday re­port by the wire ser­vice. The de­vel­op­ment came ahead of a May 15 due date for Tehran to sup­ply de­tails on its de­vel­op­ment of “ex­plod­ing bridgewire det­on­at­ors,” which have ap­plic­a­tions in ci­vil­ian activ­it­ies as well as nuc­le­ar-arms de­vel­op­ment.

Ir­a­ni­an state me­dia said IAEA per­son­nel would travel in the next week to the coun­try’s Ar­dakan yel­low­cake plant and its Saghand urani­um ore ex­trac­tion site, Agence France-Presse re­por­ted on Tues­day. Tehran agreed in Feb­ru­ary to al­low the vis­its.

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