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Will US sanctions sway Iran to enter oil deal with Russia?

Iranians in general do not trust Russia, but their government may be looking into various oil deals with Moscow to work around US sanctions.
gas flare on an oil production platform in the Soroush oil fields is seen alongside an Iranian flag in the Gulf July 25, 2005. REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi/File Photo    - S1BEUEUZEDAB

Recent statements by the Israeli media that Iran might start selling oil to Russian refineries to evade US sanctions should be taken with a grain of salt. Cooperation with Russia in the oil sector is not Iran's first choice, but rather a plan B to be implemented only if there are no other alternatives left. In addition to presenting daunting technical and economic obstacles, any oil deals with Russia would face severe resistance from the Iranian public.

It is not the first time Israeli media sources have made controversial statements regarding the Russian-Iranian dialogue. There is even a chance they could be right in saying that Tehran and Moscow are discussing ways to help Iran secure access for its oil to the international market. Russia's oil minister did officially state it would be "unfair" to deprive Tehran of such access. However, in the past six months, Russian officials have not once suggested potential options to secure Iran’s interests in this field.

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