Iran Sanctions Face Challenge From Possible Russia Bargain

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.

What We're Following See More »
Trump Not on Ballot in Minnesota
3 days ago
Trump on Immigration: ‘I Don’t Know, You Tell Me’
3 days ago

Perhaps Donald Trump can take a plebiscite to solve this whole messy immigration thing. At a Fox News town hall with Sean Hannity last night, Trump essentially admitted he's "stumped," turning to the audience and asking: “Can we go through a process or do you think they have to get out? Tell me, I mean, I don’t know, you tell me.”

Trump Enriching His Businesses with Donor Money
5 days ago

Donald Trump "nearly quintupled the monthly rent his presidential campaign pays for its headquarters at Trump Tower to $169,758 in July, when he was raising funds from donors, compared with March, when he was self-funding his campaign." A campaign spokesman "said the increased office space was needed to accommodate an anticipated increase in employees," but the campaign's paid staff has actually dipped by about 25 since March. The campaign has also paid his golf courses and restaurants about $260,000 since mid-May.

Trump Cancels Rallies
5 days ago

Donald Trump probably isn't taking seriously John Oliver's suggestion that he quit the race. But he has canceled or rescheduled rallies amid questions over his stance on immigration. Trump rescheduled a speech on the topic that he was set to give later this week. Plus, he's also nixed planned rallies in Oregon and Las Vegas this month.

Sean Hannity Is Also Advising Trump
6 days ago

Donald Trump's Fox News brain trust keeps growing. After it was revealed that former Fox chief Roger Ailes is informally advising Trump on debate preparation, host Sean Hannity admitted over the weekend that he's also advising Trump on "strategy and messaging." He told the New York Times: “I’m not hiding the fact that I want Donald Trump to be the next president of the United States. I never claimed to be a journalist.”