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.

MOST READ
What We're Following See More »
1.5 MILLION MORE TUNED IN FOR TRUMP
More People Watched Trump’s Acceptance Speech
1 days ago
THE DETAILS

Hillary Clinton hopes that television ratings for the candidates' acceptance speeches at their respective conventions aren't foreshadowing of similar results at the polls in November. Preliminary results from the networks and cable channels show that 34.9 million people tuned in for Donald Trump's acceptance speech while 33.3 million watched Clinton accept the Democratic nomination. However, it is still possible that the numbers are closer than these ratings suggest: the numbers don't include ratings from PBS or CSPAN, which tend to attract more Democratic viewers.

Source:
×