Insiders: Iran, Russia Close to Oil-Swap Pact Worth Billions

Global Security Newswire Staff
April 3, 2014, 5 a.m.

Ir­an and Rus­sia are gain­ing trac­tion to­ward a po­ten­tial mult­i­bil­lion-dol­lar oil pact that may light­en pres­sure on Tehran in nuc­le­ar talks, Re­u­ters re­ports.

Rus­sia could ex­change non­mon­et­ary goods for up to 500,000 bar­rels of Ir­a­ni­an pet­ro­leum each day un­der the pos­sible ar­range­ment, which may ul­ti­mately pave the way for as much as $20 bil­lion in trade, in­siders told the news agency for a Wed­nes­day re­port. The un­con­firmed claims came as Ir­an pur­sued talks with six world powers on po­ten­tially ac­cept­ing long-term re­stric­tions on its dis­puted nuc­le­ar activ­it­ies in re­turn for re­lief from in­ter­na­tion­al sanc­tions.

One ex­pert on pun­it­ive eco­nom­ic meas­ures said the pet­ro­leum plan “would ease fur­ther pres­sure on Ir­an’s battered en­ergy sec­tor.”

“If Wash­ing­ton can’t stop this deal, it could serve as a sig­nal to oth­er coun­tries that the United States won’t risk ma­jor dip­lo­mat­ic dis­putes at the ex­pense of the sanc­tions re­gime,” ac­cord­ing to Mark Dubowitz, who heads the Found­a­tion for De­fense of Demo­cra­cies. Wash­ing­ton and its al­lies hope such pen­al­ties will en­cour­age Tehran to clear up glob­al fears that its atom­ic activ­it­ies are secretly aimed at es­tab­lish­ing a nuc­le­ar-bomb ca­pa­city.

The U.S. State De­part­ment on Wed­nes­day said it could not veri­fy wheth­er Tehran and Mo­scow had achieved mo­mentum in the oil-swap talks, but spokes­wo­man Mare Harf said any res­ult­ing pact would be “in­con­sist­ent” with an in­ter­im atom­ic ac­cord fi­nal­ized in Novem­ber. Harf also re­af­firmed Wash­ing­ton’s will­ing­ness to con­sider pen­al­iz­ing be­ne­fi­ciar­ies of the pos­sible Ir­a­ni­an-Rus­si­an ar­range­ment.

Ac­cord­ing to one Ir­a­ni­an in­sider, the pos­sible pact would call for Mo­scow to sup­ply Tehran with mis­siles, as well as help in con­struct­ing two new atom­ic fa­cil­it­ies.

Mean­while, spe­cial­ists from Tehran were set on Thursday to be­gin four days of tech­nic­al nuc­le­ar dis­cus­sions with coun­ter­parts from China, France, Ger­many, Rus­sia, the United King­dom and the United States, Ir­an’s Fars News Agency re­por­ted.

What We're Following See More »
SOCIAL ISSUES ROIL CONGRESS AGAIN
LGBT Amendment Sinks Energy and Water Approps
1 hours ago
THE LATEST

The House voted down the otherwise uncontroversial Energy and Water appropriations bill Thursday after Democrats succeeded in attaching an amendment affirming LGBT job discrimination protections for military contractors. More than 40 Republicans supported the amendment, but when it came to vote on the bill, 130 Republicans joined all but six Democrats to sink the bill. Speaker Paul Ryan said Democrats voting against the bill after securing the amendment shows their intention was to scuttle the process. Democrats, however, blamed other so-called poison-pill amendments for their votes against the bill. Nonetheless, Ryan said he intends to continue the appropriations process.

AKNOWLEDGING THE INEVITABLE
UAW: Time to Unite Behind Hillary
1 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"It's about time for unity," said UAW President Dennis Williams. "We're endorsing Hillary Clinton. She's gotten 3 million more votes than Bernie, a million more votes than Donald Trump. She's our nominee." He called Sanders "a great friend of the UAW" while saying Trump "does not support the economic security of UAW families." Some 28 percent of UAW members indicated their support for Trump in an internal survey.

Source:
SCREENING DELAYS
70,000 Have Missed American Airlines Flights This Year
2 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Airport screening delays have caused more than 70,000 American Airlines customers and 40,000 checked bags to miss their flights this year, an executive for the airline told a U.S. congressional subcommittee on Thursday. A shortage of staff and a surge in air travelers have created a nightmare scenario for the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA), with airport wait times in places like Chicago stretching beyond two hours."

Source:
AP KEEPING COUNT
Trump Clinches Enough Delegates for the Nomination
3 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Donald Trump on Thursday reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination for president, completing an unlikely rise that has upended the political landscape and sets the stage for a bitter fall campaign. Trump was put over the top in the Associated Press delegate count by a small number of the party's unbound delegates who told the AP they would support him at the convention."

Source:
THE QUESTION
What Did Sen. Cotton Say About Harry Reid?
4 hours ago
THE ANSWER

That the minority leader curses the Senate with his "cancerous leadership." After Reid tried to halt a defense bill, Cotton took to the floor and blasted Reid, adding, "As a junior senator, I preside over the Senate. I usually do in the morning, which means I'm forced to listen to the bitter, vulgar, incoherent ramblings of the Minority Leader. Normally, like other Americans, I ignore them."

Source:
×