(Adds details from statement, background)
WASHINGTON, April 10 U.S. Treasury Secretary
Jack Lew told his Russian counterpart on Thursday that any
oil-for-goods deal Moscow might strike with Iran could run afoul
of U.S. sanctions.
"Secretary Lew reiterated our serious concerns regarding
reports of a possible deal between Russia and Iran involving
oil-for-goods," a Treasury representative said in a statement
after Lew met with Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov.
"He made clear that such a deal ... could trigger sanctions
against any entity or individual involved in any related
transactions," the representative said.
Lew also told Siluanov a deal would run counter to an
agreement between Iran and six world powers, including the
United States and Russia, in which Tehran promised to curb its
nuclear program in return for a modest easing in Western
sanctions. The sanctions were imposed to choke off Iran's oil
Reuters reported last week that Iran and Russia had made
progress on a barter deal that could be worth up to $20 billion
under which Moscow would provide Russian equipment and goods in
exchange for Iranian oil.
Lew and Siluanov also spoke about Ukraine, with Lew
repeating that the United States stood ready to impose
additional sanctions on Russia if it continued to step up
tensions, according to the spokesperson.
"Lew stated that the United States continues to believe that
there is an opportunity to resolve the crisis through
diplomacy," the representative said.
The representative added that Lew encouraged Russia to
further participate in an international effort to restore
Ukraine's economic health, "especially as it relates to the free
flow of energy and trade."
(Reporting by Timothy Ahmann; Editing by James Dalgleish and