While people remain focused on Russia’s annexation of Crimea and fears that Putin may make aggressive moves in eastern Ukraine, it may be a barter deal between Russia and Iran for oil that takes tensions between the U.S. and Russia to a whole other level.
For example The Washington Post reports that:
As Russia seems poised to extend its land grab into eastern Ukraine, Vladimir Putin is also edging toward a deal with Iran that would make a mockery of the P5+1 interim agreement with Iran. News reports confirm that ”Russia could exchange non-monetary goods for up to 500,000 barrels of Iranian petroleum each day under the possible arrangement, which may ultimately pave the way for as much as $20 billion in trade, insiders told [Reuters] for a Wednesday report.” Mark Dubowitz of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a sanctions guru, is quoted as saying, “If Washington can’t stop this deal, it could serve as a signal to other countries that the United States won’t risk major diplomatic disputes at the expense of the sanctions regime.” Even the State Department acknowledges that the deal would violate the interim deal.
The recent reports prompted Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) to write to President Obama on Monday telling him, “If Iran moves forward with this effort to evade U.S. sanctions and violate the terms of oil sanctions relief provided for in JPA, the United States should respond by re-instating the crude oil sanctions, rigorously enforcing significant reductions in global purchases of Iranian crude oil, and sanctioning any violations to the fullest extent of the law.” They ask the president to “put Iran on notice that United States is prepared to re-instate these sanctions should Iran attempt to evade our sanctions and violate the terms of the JPA.”
This is definitely an issue we need to pay close attention to.
Full article here.
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