Iran and Russia Negotiating Oil Deal

Would help Tehran withstand Western sanctions

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Iran and Russia are reportedly working out the details of an oil-for-goods deal worth $1.5 billion that would enable Iran to lift its oil exports substantially and help it withstand Western economic sanctions.

Reuters, citing unnamed Russian and Iranian sources, reports that the deal would lead to Moscow buying up to 500,000 barrels of oil a day from Tehran, in return for Russian equipments and goods.

“Our officials are discussing the matter with the Russians and hopefully it will be inked soon, regardless of whether we can reach a [nuclear] agreement in Geneva,” one senior Iranian official told Reuters. The Kremlin has declined to comment on the deal.

Russia is among the six world powers that helped broker a temporary agreement with Iran last year intended to curb Iran’s nuclear development for six months and buy time for a final negotiated settlement. While Russia has no existing sanctions against Iran, both the United States and the European Union are part of a Western embargo on Iranian crude oil and other sanctions on Iran. The oil-for-goods deal could help lift Iran’s oil exports by 50 percent. It’s unclear whether this deal will be finalized before the end of the temporary nuclear agreement in May.