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Russia’s possible oil purchases from Iran causes concerns of third countries

February 03, 2014, 10:49 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russia passed to the Iranian side the unit of the Bushehr nuclear power plant back in October

1 pages in this article
Iranian oil platforms (file photo)

Iranian oil platforms (file photo)

© ITAR-TASS/EPA/Abedin Taherkenareh

MOSCOW, February 03. /ITAR-TASS/. The work of Russian oil companies in Iran and possible oil purchases from Iran cause concerns of third countries, including the US. In late February, the Iranian side plans to present new conditions for work of Russian and other oil companies in its territory.

Russia’s Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Iran Levan Dzhagaryan says “if those conditions are attractive, then, naturally, our companies will come back. What matters, is those conditions should be mutually acceptable.”

“Russia is an independent country with its own policies, it does not recognize the unilateral sanctions either from the US or EU against Iran,” he said in an interview with the Kommersant daily.

“No doubt, we do listen to what they have to tell us, but we shall make decisions exclusively on the basis of our national interests,” the ambassador said. He explained there were no ready agreements yet, the negotiations continued, and not only Russian companies, but their foreign competitors too, have demonstrated activities in the Iranian direction.

The ambassador explained the major reasons of the slump in the trade turnover between Russia and Iran by the unilateral sanctions, which the US and the European Union’s countries had introduced.

“We do not believe those measures legal, we have presented our view on them to our Western counterparts at various levels,” the ambassador said. “Though we do not recognize them, the sanctions affect the Russian-Iranian trade and economic cooperation.”

“In reality, tell me who has not visited Iran yet,” Dzhagaryan continued. “Who has not come, even major businesses from the countries, which have imposed the unilateral sanctions against Iran and criticize it for anything.” In that aspect, the Russian ambassador called on the Western counterparts “to avoid double standards.”

While explaining Tehran’s possible lower interest in following the Russian-Iranian agreement on the nuclear program, the ambassador said “our American counterparts underestimate Iran’s constructive approach to following the obligations under its nuclear program.” “We do not have any reasons not to trust Tehran,” he added.

Russia passed to the Iranian side the unit of the Bushehr nuclear power plant back in October, “and now for us the major priority is to guarantee its stable and safe operation.”

As for continuing the cooperation with Iran in that sphere, the ambassador added by saying “we have never concealed that we are open for discussions on the topic and that discussions of the kind continue.”

“Here I would like to stress that any cooperation with Tehran in the nuclear sphere should be economically reasonable and should comply with the international obligations the two countries have.” Presently, the sides are involved in negotiations, he added.

“There are several moments which require further agreement,” he said adding “personally I am optimistic about that.”

While commenting on the positions of Russia and Iran at the negotiations on dividing the Caspian Sea, Dzhagaryan said that in his opinion “all issues referring to the Caspian Sea, should be settled exclusively by the Caspian countries.”

“Together with them we are for adopting measures to preserve the Caspian Sea’s biological reserves, for settling issues, regarding laying of pipelines along the Caspian seabed, with absolute consideration of opinions from all the Caspian countries,” the Russian ambassador to Iran said.

Iran is planning to build a second nuclear power plant in the southern province of Bushehr, Fars News Agency quoted President Hassan Rouhani as saying in early December.

“Iran has plans to generate more electricity through the nuclear energy in the coming years by building a second nuclear power plant in Bushehr,” he said.

Iran signed the Bushehr contract with Russia in 1995. The nuclear power plant reached its full capacity by August 2012.

“Based on our estimates, the second nuclear power plant will be built in the same province and I hope that we can use the facilities of this province,” Rouhani added.

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