Global Security Newswire
Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues
Iran Oil-Swap Proposal Prompts Questions on U.S. Sanctions Strategy
A senior U.S. lawmaker wants the Obama administration to explain how it would respond if Iran and Russia finalize a "sanctions-busting" oil deal.
U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) said the potential "oil-for-goods" plan would circumvent international efforts to squeeze concessions from Iran on its bomb-usable nuclear activities. In a Monday letter, he asked Secretary of State John Kerry to identify what "designation and enforcement steps" the administration would pursue if the potential $20 billion arrangement takes effect.
Negotiators for Russia, the United States and four other countries are offering Iran relief from economic pressure if the Middle Eastern nation significantly dials back its contested atomic efforts. Tehran denies it is seeking a nuclear-bomb capacity, and so far has not offered curbs sufficient to satisfy Washington and its allies.
Royce said the proposal for Iran to trade oil for nonmonetary goods from Russia "would present a clear violation of Iran's obligations and would undermine the rationale behind the current negotiations." Treasury Secretary Jack Lew in April said Washington could penalize groups or individuals that engage in trade under the possible pact, but he did not specify what legal authorities would permit such action.
The lawmaker also asked for a rundown of steps by Washington or its partners "to deter a potential deal."
The United States contends that a six-month interim accord obligates Iran to cap its average daily oil exports to six key oil-importing nations at about a million barrels. Royce said the list does not include Russia, potentially enabling a barter deal to boost Tehran's daily oil sales by up to half a million additional barrels.
Royce also aired concern over indications that Moscow may supply Iran with arms or nuclear systems under the proposed arrangement.
Note to our Readers
GSN ceased publication on July 31, 2014. Its articles and daily issues will remain archived and available on NTI’s website.
June 25, 2015
Iran is currently negotiating a nuclear agreement in Vienna with representatives of the so-called E3/EU+3. A major feature of any agreement will be the limits it places on the number and type of centrifuges that Iran is allowed to use. Visualize the numbers with and without a comprehensive agreement.
April 15, 2015
This page contains interactive 3D models of Iranian centrifuges. Users can drag the model by pressing and holding their mouse’s scroll wheel. They can zoom in and out on the model by rolling their scroll wheel up and down, and can orbit the model by clicking and dragging their left mouse button. Please click on the annotations to learn more about the centrifuge.
This article provides an overview of Iran's historical and current policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.