On Monday, US Rep. Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee expressed concern over reports that Iran is engaging in sanctions-defying barter-based trade with Russia. Royce sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry urging the State Department to make a “compelling response” to any such sanctions evasions.
Under a secretive Iranian-Russian trade agreement, Russia might deliver ordinary export goods, nuclear components, or missile systems. In exchange, Iran could export approximately half a million barrels per day of oil to Russia alone. Even without these added figures, Iran has been consistently exceeding oil export limits set by the Joint Plan of Action agreed upon by all parties to the ongoing nuclear negotiations. A sanctions-busting conspiracy would be an additional violation of Iran’s obligations under the agreement.