Jump to search Jump to main navigation Jump to main content Jump to footer navigation

Global Security Newswire

Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues

Produced by
NationalJournal logo

Iran Downplays Prospects for Russian Energy Pact

A gas flame is seen at Iran's South Pars gas field in January. An Iranian deputy oil minister on Monday downplayed prospects for energy-trade talks with Russia, amid international fears about the discussions' possible impact on nuclear sanctions against Tehran. A gas flame is seen at Iran's South Pars gas field in January. An Iranian deputy oil minister on Monday downplayed prospects for energy-trade talks with Russia, amid international fears about the discussions' possible impact on nuclear sanctions against Tehran. (Behrouz Mehri/AFP/Getty Images)

An Iranian official said Russian energy-trade talks faced an uphill battle, amid global fears about possible implications for nuclear sanctions, Reuters reports.

"The negotiation is continuing" between Moscow and Tehran, Iranian Deputy Oil Minister Ali Majedi said in Monday comments quoted by the wire agency. He added, though, that the discussion "is very difficult because both countries are producers and exporters of oil and gas."

The official raised the concern as the sides discussed a range of trade options, including a potential pact under which Russia could swap nonmonetary assets for as much as 500,000 barrels of Iranian oil each day.

The Obama administration has said such an arrangement would run counter to language in a six-month deal it hopes will set the stage for longer-term limits on Iran's weapon-usable nuclear operations. Washington and its allies are trying to maintain economic pressure against Tehran as they bargain over what nuclear restrictions the Persian Gulf power could accept in exchange for sanctions relief.

Majedi said, "Russia is a producer and exporter of oil ... [and] there is no way that Iran will receive some of the oil from Russia. Maybe vice-versa, maybe. But not now."

The deputy oil minister added that his country expects to hold its daily petroleum sales to other countries at roughly 1 million barrels into July, when the interim atomic accord is currently slated to lapse, Bloomberg reported. Iran's production of unrefined oil now stands at approximately 2.7 million barrels each day, he said.

Western powers have set a 1 million-barrel limit on Iran's average daily exports for the six-month pact's full duration which, if exceeded, could trigger new sanctions. Sales reportedly have topped the anticipated cap since the deal took effect in January, but the Obama administration has said it expects Iran's shipments ultimately to fall within agreed boundaries under the pact.

Country Profile

Flag of Iran

Iran

This article provides an overview of Iran's historical and current policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.

Learn More →