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

Al-Monitor | : 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.

But let’s examine the possibilities. All of Russia’s initiatives — real and suspected — have certain specifics.

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