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Iran: Russia could build reactor in exchange for oil

Staff writer |
Russia could build a second reactor at Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant in exchange for Iranian oil, the Iranian ambassador Mehdi Sanaei to Moscow said.

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Russia could also supply Iran with trucks, railroad tracks, mini-refineries or other goods to pay for the oil, ambassador Mehdi Sanaei told the daily Kommersant.

Reuters reported Iran and Russia were negotiating to swap up to 500,000 barrels of oil per day for goods in the deal that would undermine Western efforts to maintain economic pressure on Tehran while global powers seek to curb its nuclear program.

Ambassador Sanaei confirmed Russia and Iran were discussing supplies of "a few hundred thousand barrels per day". "Iran could use some of the proceeds (to pay for) the construction by Russia companies of a second unit at the nuclear power plant in Bushehr." Russia built the first reactor at Bushehr, Iran's sole nuclear power plant.

Ambassador Sanaei said it was possible the oil deal, and a broad memorandum on economic cooperation, could be signed before August. Russian Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev is to visit Iran in April for talks on trade.

Asked what Russia could supply in exchange for the oil, Ambassador Sanaei said the sides were discussing a number of possibilities including the construction of small oil refineries, Russian investment in gas fields and supplies of electricity.

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