U.S. says Russia-Iran oil-for-goods will not go ahead for now

WASHINGTON Tue Feb 4, 2014 12:13pm EST

WASHINGTON Feb 4 (Reuters) - A top U.S. official said on Tuesday an oil-for-goods swap between Russia and Iran would not go ahead for now after the United States raised concerns with both Tehran and Moscow, warning it could be subject to U.S. sanctions.

A Reuters report on Jan. 10 revealed that Iran and Russia were negotiating a $1.5 billion per month oil-for-goods swap that would enable Iran to lift oil export substantially.

U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman told a congressional hearing the possibility of a deal was raised at "the highest level" to ensure it did not go ahead.

"My own sense of this is after a fair amount of clarity about this matter that nothing will move forward at this time," Sherman told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

"We are very crystal clear that anything like such an agreement between Russia and Iran might have potential sanctionable action and would likely create tremendous risk within the P5+1 which would make coming to a comprehensive agreement all the more difficult if not impossible," she added. (Reporting by Lesley Wroughton; Editing by Sandra Maler)