Via Investment Watch — April 9, 2014
Peter Foster in Washington — Telegraph.co.uk Jan 14, 2014
Reports that Russia and Iran were negotiating a multi-billion dollar backdoor trade deal that could undermine upcoming nuclear negotiations with Tehran is a matter of “serious concern”, the White House admitted last night.
The $1.5 billion-a-month oil-for-goods deal was first revealed in news reports last week and threatens to undermine the credibility of White House claims that Iran would receive only $7bn in phased and reversible sanctions relief in exchange for nuclear concessions, experts said.
In a sign of the potential seriousness of the sanctions-busting agreement, John Kerry, the US secretary of state has personally raised the issue of the deal with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, the White House added.
“If the reports are true, such a deal would raise serious concerns as it would be inconsistent with the terms of the P5+1 agreement with Iran and could potentially trigger US sanctions,” Caitlin Hayden, spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council, told Reuters who first reported the existence of the deal.
On Sunday the so-called P5+ 1 grouping of world powers – Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States plus Germany – announced it had reached agreement with Iran on the terms of a six-month interim agreement which will come into effect on January 20.
Jonathan Saul & Parisa Hafezi — Reuters April 2, 2014
Iran and Russia have made progress towards an oil-for-goods deal sources said would be worth up to $20 billion, which would enable Tehran to boost vital energy exports in defiance of Western sanctions, people familiar with the negotiations told Reuters.
In January Reuters reported Moscow and Tehran were discussing a barter deal that would see Moscow buy up to 500,000 barrels a day of Iranian oil in exchange for Russian equipment and goods.
The White House has said such a deal would raise “serious concerns” and would be inconsistent with the nuclear talks between world powers and Iran.
A Russian source said Moscow had “prepared all documents from its side”, adding that completion of a deal was awaiting agreement on what oil price to lock in.
The source said the two sides were looking at a barter arrangement that would see Iranian oil being exchanged for industrial goods including metals and food, but said there was no military equipment involved. The source added that the deal was expected to reach $15 to $20 billion in total and would be done in stages with an initial $6 billion to $8 billion tranche.