Russia backs Iran despite re-imposition of US unilateral sanctions
Russia's energy minister Alexander Novak says, Russia continues to implement its oil deal with Iran, regardless of US sanctions.
"If new sanctions are imposed, we will continue our cooperation," Russian media quoted Energy Minister Alexander Novak as saying in an interview with Bloomberg on Wednesday in Moscow. "We are interested in continuing our cooperation with Iran, which is our long-term economic partner. Certainly, we need to further find the forms of cooperation to fulfill joint projects," he added.
We constantly maintain contact with Iranian Minister of Petroleum Bijan Namdar Zangeneh over issues of mutual concern Novak said on the sidelines of the Russian Energy Week forum .
Ryabkov said a special agenda had also been devised to counter Washington’s efforts to undermine a 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran – the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Russia says it will intensify work with Iran, Europe and China in coming days to counter unilateral US sanctions.
President Vladimir Putin has said Russia is prepared to continue its oil investment in Iran at the level of $50 billion, despite the fact that US plans to reimpose sanctions on Iran's oil and gas sector on November 4.
Iran and Russia have yet to implement an oil-for-goods scheme originally signed in 2014 and extended for five more years in April, which calls for Iranian crude exports of up to 500,000 barrels per day in return for Russian goods.
The scheme includes Iran’s use of Russian machinery, equipment and installations Iran needs in its strategic petroleum, mining, construction and transportation sectors.
A tentative arrangement calls for swapping around 300,000 barrels per day of Iranian crude oil via the Caspian Sea and the rest from the Persian Gulf.
The arrangement dates back to 2014 under which Russia would initially buy 100,000 barrels a day of Iranian oil in exchange for Russian equipment and goods.
In May, US President Donald Trump pulled America out of the JCPOA and vowed to re-impose sanctions against Iran.
The first wave of sanctions was reimposed on August 6, including a ban on Iran’s access to the US dollar as well as prohibitions against the country’s trade in gold and other precious metals among other restrictions.
The second wave of sanctions that would hit in November is meant to target Iran’s oil exports, as well as Iran's central bank (CBI).