Russia is willing to step in to help Iran export its oil while the Middle Eastern country is struggling to keep the oil flowing while pressured by sanctions levied by the United States.
Iran’s budget counts on raking in around $30 billion from oil and gas condensate exports.
Iran was holding out hope that Europe would have its Instex European payment system in place that would allow Europe to continue purchasing Iranian oil, but the system is not yet running, leaving Iran in tight spot when it comes to getting its oil out of country.
Russia, however, is happy to help, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on June 21 according to Reuters. It would also be willing to help with Iran’s banking sector as well, as Iran is finding it difficult to process payments.
The dynamic between the United States, Europe, Russia, and Iran is an interesting one, given the fact that some EU states have been irritated with the United States meddling in its affairs as it looks to purchase cheap Russian gas through the controversial Nord Stream 2 project.
If Europe is unable to get its payment system off the ground, Russia could facilitate the transactions, making exports possible despite the sanctions. Russia may then find somewhat emboldened EU members who are willing to thumb their nose at the United States when it comes to Nord Stream 2.
If Russia’s help is successful, Iran would be able to export substantial amounts of oil to Europe, Russia would be able to export more gas to the EU, and Europe would be able to purchase both low-cost oil and gas.
The United States, on the other hand, would find it near impossible to restrict Iran’s oil exports to zero, and would find it tough going to put the kibosh on Nord Stream 2.