Iran and Russia are moving closer to each other over Western hostility toward both. The latest sign of this came in the announcement that Iran and Russia are working on a $20 billion oil-for-commodities deal. Of course, Washington has expressed anger but neither Tehran nor Moscow seem to be worried.
Thursday April 4, 2014, 00:33 DST
Iran and Russia are close to finalizing a $20-billion oil-for-commodities deal, according to a report by Reuters.
The British news agency quoting sources in Moscow said Russia has “prepared all documents from its side.”
There are still some details to be worked out such as agreement on the price of oil that is currently trading at around $100/barrel.
Under the proposed deal Russia would buy up to 500,000 barrels a day of Iran’s oil in exchange for equipment and goods. Trade between Iran and Russia is already on the upswing with both countries facing US and Western hostility arising out of American hegemonic policies.
Islamic Iran has been under US and Western sanctions for decades because of allegations that Tehran is pursuing a military nuclear weapon, a charge hotly denied by Iran. It has remained unproven despite intrusive inspections carried out by inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Since last November, there have been a series of meetings between Iranian officials and representatives from the P5+1 group of countries to sort out Iran’s nuclear file. The latest round was held in Vienna yesterday (April 3) to hammer out the details for a comprehensive deal.
Russia has faced US/Western hostility over its policy to prevent the rise of fascist forces in Ukraine that are backed by the West. Russian President Vladimir Putin has stood up to Western interference and bullying, much to the chagrin of Western regimes.
Russian officials and entities have been placed under sanctions that have irked officials in Moscow. The West has also blocked Visa and Master Card from trading in Russia.
Putin was so upset by this and he announced last week that Moscow would make its own arrangements for credit card processing like it is currently being done in Japan and China.
The Iran-Russia trade deal seems to be part of the same pattern to break the West’s stranglehold on other countries’ economies. Russia has repeatedly stressed that it will not abide by unilateral US sanctions against Iran. The oil-for-commodities trade deal is the first concrete sign that Moscow is moving earnestly in this direction.
Its policy has no doubt been influenced by Western hostility toward Russia over the question of Ukraine and the referendum in Crimea whereby the people there overwhelmingly voted to join Russia.
Moscow has also announced an end to gas price subsidies it was offering to Ukraine because the latter has opted to join the Western camp. Russia has demanded that Ukraine pay up the billions of dollars it owes to Moscow in debt.