The Russian Foreign Ministry reacted to information about the ongoing negotiations between the United States and Iran. According to Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, if the parties are in contact on a nuclear deal, then this is a "positive moment."

"As for contacts between Washington and Tehran, we know that they have taken place and continue, including through the mediation of some Gulf states. We believe that if we are talking about certain understandings regarding the Iranian nuclear program, then this is a positive moment," Ryabkov said in an interview with RIA Novosti.

According to the Russian diplomat, if part of the negotiations is the discussion of the nuclear deal, then the intensification of work on the full-scale restoration of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) should soon follow, for which Moscow is ready and informs all parties to the deal, including Tehran.

Recall that the agreement between Iran and a group of states consisting of five permanent members of the UN Security Council (USA, Russia, China, Great Britain, France) and Germany was concluded in 2015. In 2018, the United States unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear deal, accusing Iran of allegedly failing to comply with the terms of the agreement.

Assessing the likelihood of resuming negotiations on the JCPOA, Ryabkov explained that the Iranian authorities are ready for this, and Moscow and Beijing support their colleagues in this. However, the West, as noted by the Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation, takes a detached position on this issue "due to considerations not directly related to the JCPOA, which can be generally called a continuation of attempts to put pressure on unwanted countries."

To date, it is known that the parties have agreed on the exchange of prisoners, for which Iran will receive $ 6 billion from special accounts created earlier for the settlement mechanism for Iranian oil.

However, as US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken told reporters earlier, the American leadership will not ease sanctions against Iran even after Tehran releases five United States citizens.

Recall that among the sanctions restrictions that were to be lifted from Iran, based on the provisions of the JCPOA, was a ban on oil trade.

Nevertheless, on August 25, Bloomberg, citing its sources in the circles of high-ranking US officials, reported on the alleged unofficial decision of the United States to ease sanctions against Iran, allowing it to trade oil. But, according to experts, this is not done in order to help the Islamic Republic, but so that Iranian oil can compete with Russian fuel.

"U.S. officials tacitly admit that they have gradually eased compliance with some sanctions on the sale of Iranian oil," Bloomberg writes.

At the same time, according to journalists, "Washington will still not tolerate purchases from Iran's pre-sanction clients, such as South Korea, Japan or European countries, but it is calm about the growth of sales to China."

It is worth noting that in the first half of 2023, Russia became China's main supplier of crude oil. According to experts, by making concessions to Tehran and thereby making the Chinese market more accessible for the supply of Iranian oil, but restricting access to other countries, the United States hopes in this way to reduce Russia's "oil revenues".

  • U.S. State Department
  • RIA Novosti
  • © Sputnik / Artur Gabdrakhmanov

Tehran's position

In turn, the Iranian authorities themselves do not deviate from the anti-American course. So, on July 31, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said during a press conference that Tehran would never negotiate with the United States "on the basis of trust." According to him, the Iranian side carries out diplomatic work based on its national interests and the provisions of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

The commander-in-chief of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Major General Hossein Salami, speaking on August 1 at a meeting of officials and leaders of the Basij mobilization organization, stressed that "everyone who relies on America has lost hope and collapsed."

"The fragile American hegemony declined after it lost its status as the world's largest power, and some of its supporters began to turn towards China, Russia and Iran," the IRGC commander-in-chief added.

  • The building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran
  • © Ministry of Foreign Affairs

For his part, Iran's ambassador to Moscow, Kazem Jalali, said in an interview with IRNA news agency on August 25 that the United States is making every effort to "absorb the global economic structure and trade exchanges, using its economic power and the influence of the dollar." However, Iran's accession to the BRICS group failed the plan to isolate the country in the international arena, Jalali said. According to him, now Tehran will be able to use its "high internal capabilities to take more adequate measures and respond with the BRICS members in trade interactions."

"Element of foreign policy"

As the director of the Energy Development Fund, Sergei Pikin, noted, despite the fact that Iran does not hide its anti-American position, Washington can turn a blind eye to this and ease sanctions restrictions against Tehran, trying to manipulate the situation on the oil market in order to reduce Russia's revenues.

"This is a standard practice of the American authorities and an element of their foreign policy - to play undercover games. The United States thought that the volume of sales of Russian oil would decrease significantly after Western sanctions, but this did not happen. The Russian Federation was able to reorient supplies to Asia. Therefore, the task of the United States is to increase the number of offers on the commodity market by any means in order to reduce oil prices, "the expert said in an interview with RT.

A similar opinion is shared by Pavel Feldman, Candidate of Political Sciences, Associate Professor of the Academy of Labor and Social Relations. According to him, it is likely that the United States really has a plan to lift some of the sanctions restrictions on Iran related to oil in order to "try to harm Russia."

"This is a rather immoral foreign policy typical of the United States, when they are trying to use any events taking place in international energy markets to their advantage and to contain the Russian Federation, even if we are talking about the situation around Iran," Feldman said in a conversation with RT.

However, the analyst recalled that such plans may not please US ally Israel, which continues the policy of confrontation with the Iranian authorities.

"Perhaps this is the reason why the United States acts in secret. Israel has a fairly powerful lobby in Washington, and it is in no way interested in Iran receiving additional revenues from the sale of oil, which it will use for the development of its military-industrial complex. I think that now Israel will begin to make a very vigorous effort through its Washington lobbyists, demanding that the United States not provide Tehran with any indulgences, "Feldman said.

The United States, seeing how Iran is integrating into the BRICS and building up ties with Russia, as well as with other successfully developing countries, is trying to use it "as a tool to exert economic pressure on the Russian Federation," the analyst believes.

"The United States thinks that by secretly lifting some of the sanctions, it will open up wider access for Iranian oil to China, which today is also a key buyer of Russian fuel. Washington dreams in this way to strike at one of the most important items of filling the Russian federal budget, "Feldman said.

  • Russian oil tanker
  • RIA Novosti

In turn, as Igor Yushkov, a leading analyst at the National Energy Security Fund, noted, the US administration, apparently, wants to achieve a situation in which Iran would increase oil production to a level that could prevent "Russia from earning on such supplies as much as it receives now."

"Washington would be happy if Iranian oil saturated the world market, which would pull prices down. However, the current US administration does not think about American oil producers, which Donald Trump cared about so much when he left the JCPOA. These companies in the United States fear that after Iran increases production and brings down prices, they will not be able to recoup their investments in new fields and their projects will simply be unprofitable, "Yushkov stated in a commentary to RT.

At the same time, experts agree that Iran does not trust the United States, and therefore "will not be fooled by their tricks."

"The Iranians are well aware that the United States can let them down at any moment. For example, in a short period of time, sanctions can be partially lifted, but then, when the market situation changes, they are reintroduced, perhaps even in a more severe variation. Washington acts solely in its own interests. But Iran is aware of this and is not ready to take the United States' word for it and make any concessions," Yushkov concluded.