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Questions raised by Russia-Iran deal

Tuesday, April 14, 2015 - 02:10

The Kremlin has confirmed an oil-for-goods barter deal with Tehran under which Moscow may also supply missile systems. As David Pollard reports, it could mark the start of a race for lucrative contracts after this month's accord on curbing Iran's nuclear programme.

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EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: ***EDIT 2318-IRAN-NUCLEAR/RUSSIA DEAL REPLACES EDIT 2181-IRAN-NUCLEAR/RUSSIA DEAL FOR BVO CLIENTS*** A symbol of Russian might. And now potentially of Iran's too. Some of these S-300 anti-missile rocket systems may be handed over from one to the other. Under a deal that will also see Iranian oil bartered for Russian grain, equipment and construction materials. But, says the US, that could also threaten security - and more. White House spokesman Josh Earnest. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY JOSH EARNEST SAYING:. ''We're studying the details. And if this sort of arrangement were to move forward, it would raise serious concerns and even could potential raise sanctions concerns. So we're going to continue to evaluate that moving forward as well." It begins the race for lucrative Iranian contracts - after world powers reached an accord with Tehran on curbing its nuclear programme. But are some jumping the gun? On Monday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry asked Congress for "the space and time" to complete the nuclear accord. That in the face of close scrutiny by rank-and-file members in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. And in his latest comments, the Iranian Foreign Minister says - whilst confident an accord is ''close'' - sanctions against Tehran must end before it can be completed. Mohammad Javad Zarif spoke in Madrid. (SOUNDBITE) (English) IRAN'S FOREIGN MINISTER, JAVAD MOHAMMAD ZARIF, SAYING: ''As long as this instrument of coercion and pressure is kept there, I think people will never have the peace of mind that is needed in order to implement a good agreement." Markets appear unsure about how to react to this latest driver to oil prices. The potential for further downward pressure already there, according to JP Morgan's Patrik Schowitz. (SOUNDBITE) JP MORGAN MARKET STRATEGIST, PATRIK SCHOWITZ, SAYING: ''There is certainly a sort of discount in the market for oil prices for the possibility of a political deal with Iran and Iran sanctions being lifted and that could certainly give you another leg down on oil prices so I think that's far more the important driver from here.'' Few details of the price tags attached to the Russia/Iran barter deal have emerged. Sources have in the past said it could be worth an estimated 20 billion dollars.

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Questions raised by Russia-Iran deal

Tuesday, April 14, 2015 - 02:10