Friday, December 2, 2022

Zanganeh denies Iran, Russia ‘oil bartering’

Iran's oil chief Bijan Namdar Zanganeh has ruled out reports that Tehran has signed a deal with Russia to barter oil for essential goods.

Iran’s oil minister rejected remarks by Russian officials that Iran has signed agreement with the country to barter oil for essential goods.

Bijan Namdar Zanganeh told Mehr News Agency on Wednesday that Iran and Russia cooperated merely on oil and gas industries.

The Russian minister of economic development had already told the media that Iran and Russia would start bartering oil for essential goods. Zanganeh roundly rejected the claim, adding that no such agreement had been signed between Iran and Russia.

“According to agreements on oil and gas, Iran will use Russian technology and expertise in its oil and gas development projects,” he said.

Last September, on the sidelines of Iran-Russia joint economic conference, Russian Federation Minister of Energy Alexander Novak said that no such agreements [oil barter for essential goods] had been signed by both sides; no article of oil and essential goods barter had been asserted in joint economic memorandum of understanding either.

Meanwhile Azerbaijan Republic’s ambassador to Moscow told reporters last September that the Republic would welcome oil swap agreements with two northern and southern neighbors.

Moscow Times wrote in a report last week that Russia would embark on oil barter for essential goods with Iran according to an oil-for-goods program.

[Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation] Alexey Valentinovich Ulyukaev told the Russian media last Thursday that he would not reject the possibility that the agreement articles would actually be implemented by the end of the year.

US Secretary of State Spokesperson Jen Psaki emphasized that Washington was ‘aware’ of Iran-Russia talks and it might trigger a US reaction if bartering violated so-called international sanction regime against Iran.

The inverse swap of oil with Russia by Iran due to similar properties of oil produced by Iran and Russia had elicited mixed comments by Iranian, Russian and US officials in recent 2 years.

Mehdi Senaei, Iran’s ambassador to Moscow told Russian Kommersant Daily that Russia could built a second nuclear reactor in Bushehr as paying for oil received from Iran, thus implicitly confirming the inverse swap of oil.

Senaei also pointed to ‘other goods of transportation sector’ as payment for oil or ‘building small refineries.’

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