Iran says no oil trade deal with Russia yet

Arrangements may surface in the future, Tehran says.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |  Aug. 13, 2014 at 9:48 AM
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TEHRAN, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- The chief of staff for Iran's president said oil and natural gas contracts with Russia were on the table, though formal deals would evolve in the future.

Mohammad Nahavandian, chief of staff for Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, said Iran was eager to strengthen its economic ties with Russia.

"Both sides will try to sign agreements in different fields, including in the oil and natural gas sector," he said Tuesday.

Western governments had expressed concern over the possibility that Iran was working on an oil-for-goods swap deal with Russia. Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said the government had endorsed such a deal, but nothing was formalized.

"We do not have any oil barter trade deal between Iran and Russia," he said in a statement.

Both sides already cooperate in a variety of fields, with Russia supplying fuel for Iran's nuclear reactor at Bushehr. The president's chief of staff said Tehran and Moscow have met to strengthen their economies ties.

"The details of Iran-Russia contracts will be announced in the future," he said.

Iran has been eager to make deals in an energy sector handicapped by Western economic sanctions pressure.

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