April 8, 2014 | Quote

Russia Oil Talks Post New Hurdle to Iran Nuke Pact

The United States could impose economic sanctions if Iran and Russia move forward with a reported oil-for-goods contract, Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday, discussing with a Senate panel an emerging threat to talks designed to finalize a nuclear deal with Iran.

The Russian business daily Kommersant has reported Russia plans to buy 500,000 barrels of Iranian oil a day, shattering an export limit defined by an interim nuclear agreement world powers and Iran reached last year. The oil-for-goods exchange is still far from finalized, the newspaper said, but its potential challenges Western efforts to secure a comprehensive agreement.

While nuclear negotiators met in Vienna, Kerry told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the Obama administration has warned Iran and Russia about moving forward with the oil contract. It would violate the interim agreement reached in November in Geneva, he told the Senate panel, “and, yes, it could trigger U.S. sanctions.”

Mark Dubowitz, a leading sanctions proponent with the Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said his understanding was that Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed earlier this year not to move on the deal until August, after the interim agreement would in theory be replaced by a final accord. But he said Putin's assurance came before the Crimean crisis and may no longer hold.

Read the full article here.


Iran Iran Sanctions Russia