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Iranian official slams state’s oil-for-goods deal with Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) meets with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (R) in Tehran, Iran on 1 November 2017 [Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/Anadolu Agency]

Iran aims to get rid of the US sanctions through selling oil to Russia in exchange for goods, the Deputy Chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, Kamal Dehghani Firouzabadi, announced yesterday.

“This proposal [Tehran’s proposal] was implemented earlier in Iraq under the former president Saddam Hussein’s regime,” Firouzabadi said in an official statement, stressing that “The status quo in Iran is quite different than Iraq.”

“Tehran has commercial and political ties with the United Nations (UN) member states except for the United States,” he noted. “Those relations will continue even after the US sanctions.”

Read: Mnuchin says US to consider waivers on Iran sanctions

Last week, the senior adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Ali Akbar Velayati, visited Russia where he met with the Russian President Vladimir Putin and discussed with him “the necessary measures” to counter the US sanctions against Tehran, including the oil-for-goods barter deal.

On Friday, the Russian energy minister, Alexander Novak, said that a deal under which Russia would provide goods to Iran in exchange for oil was “possible.”

On 8 May, the US President Donald Trump announced a withdrawal from a deal, under which Iran would face restriction to its nuclear programme in return for lifting Western sanctions. On the contrary, the European Union (EU) countries refused to follow the American move and declared their continued commitment to the agreement.

On the Syrian issue, Velayati said that the Russian government was proposing to hold the next international talks in Tehran.

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