​No ‘oil for goods’ agreement signed with Russia – Iranian oil minister

​No ‘oil for goods’ agreement signed with Russia – Iranian oil minister
Iran and Russia have not signed a barter agreement to exchange oil for Russian goods, says Iranian oil minister Bijan Namdar Zangeneh. It contradicts statements made by Russia’s Economic Development Minister Aleksey Ulyukayev.

The terms of oil cooperation between Russia and Iran are outlined in a memorandum of understanding signed on August 6 and a barter agreement is not part of it, says Zangeneh in an interview with the Mehr news agency.

Russian Minister of Economic Development Alexei Ulyukayev confirmed last Thursday that shipments which are part of Iran's ‘oil-for-goods’ program can begin by the end of 2014.

READ MORE: Russia-Iran ‘oil for goods’ program to launch soon - minister

It was reported Iran was ready to supply Russia with up to 500,000 barrels of oil per day (25 million tons per year), estimated Reuters, adding that it could be worth as much as $20 billion. Russia would then supply Iran with goods and equipment in exchange.

The countries were considering the possibility of supplying grain and the participation of Russia’s engineering company Tekhnopromexport in constructing Iranian energy infrastructure, according to TASS.

The cooperation scheme could have included supplies of Iranian oil through Russian traders, said Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak in September after a meeting of the Russian-Iranian intergovernmental commission.

Russia could build a second nuclear reactor in Bushehr in exchange for oil received from Iran, said Mehdi Senaei, Iran’s ambassador to Moscow as quoted by Kommersant Daily. Senaei added that “other goods from the transportation sector” or, “building small refineries” can work as payment for oil.

The possibility of an oil swap deal between Russia and Iran has been raising US concerns for the last two years.

"We are aware of the talks between Russia and Iran involving various areas of planned future economic cooperation," the US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki told journalists at a press briefing last Monday. “If there are deals that are sanctionable, we will act.”