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Iran mulling currency side step

Iran wants to replace U.S. dollar in trade with Russia.

By Daniel J. Graeber

TEHRAN, Oct. 27 (UPI) -- Using national currencies for trade deals between Iran and Russian is high on the list of items to be discussed during upcoming talks, an Iranian lawmaker said.

Hadi Qavami, a delegate from an Iranian-Russian committee inside the Iranian parliament, said he's heading to Moscow at the invitation of his counterparts in the Kremlin.

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"Replacing (the U.S.) dollar with ruble in bilateral and multilateral transactions between Iran and Russia tops the agenda of the upcoming visit of an Iranian delegation to Russia," he said Saturday.

Iran has long been searching for a way around the U.S. dollar to circumvent sanctions imposed by Western powers in response to its controversial nuclear program. Russia now has sanctions pressure of its own issued in response to Western frustration over Moscow's stance on Ukraine.

Iran and Russia have been mulling an oil-for-goods swap deal for much of the latter half of 2014. U.S. officials have said it would be "very troubling" if such a deal were to materialize.

Both sides already cooperate in a variety of fields, with Russia supplying fuel for Iran's nuclear reactor at Bushehr.

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