TEHRAN (AFP) – Tehran said Tuesday it would enhance energy cooperation with Russia but there would be no imminent oil-for-goods deal of the kind that has raised concerns in Washington.
“Iran and Russia have agreed to cooperate in the energy field,” Ali Majedi, Iran’s deputy oil minister, told the ISNA news agency.
“We will develop cooperation in oil, gas, petrochemicals and refineries,” he said, but added: “The issue of an exchange of goods for oil is absolutely not on the agenda.”
The White House has expressed “serious concern” over a rumoured barter deal that would potentially circumvent US-led sanctions over Iran’s nuclear drive.
Last month it was reported that Russia and Iran were to discuss a contract in which Tehran would have exported two per cent of its annual oil production under such a deal.
Tuesday’s statement was released as Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak visited Tehran for the 11th meeting of the Iran-Russia Business Council.
Novak met Tuesday with Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation and Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian. He is later scheduled to meet Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh.
The two countries have a five-year framework agreement for “the construction and reconstruction of (Iranian power) generation capacities, electricity supply network infrastructure development, as well as oil and gas,” they previously announced.
“Russia will participate in the construction of eight power plants with a total capacity of 2,800 megawatts,” Chitchian said after his meeting with Novak on Tuesday.