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«Russo-Iranian Relations and the Vienna Nuclear Agreement Lana Ravandi-Fadai | Nov 2015 Russo-Iranian Relations and the Vienna Nuclear Agreement* ...»

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Internal criticisms of Russian support, however, have focused on the potentially negative economic fallout from the deal. Although increased oil and gas exports from Iran onto international markets can certainly bring prices down—which is a serious risk for the Russian resource-dependent economy—exports will also create new opportunities with the potential to outweigh the risks.

Many of the large Russian enterprises, such as Gazprom-Neft, Lukoil and Tat-Neft, kept away by sanctions and stigma can now return to the Iranian market. The Vienna agreement allows Iran to develop its uranium enrichment program on a limited basis (monitored by The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)), which opens up possibilities for large-scale, peaceful atomic projects between Moscow and Tehran.

Joint projects are also slated in the aerospace industry and space research: satellite launches, research programs and space navigation systems. The Russian Railroad has already announced its readiness to participate in switching Iranian railways to electric power. The Russian Ministry of Economic Development is initiating talks on expanding

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the spectrum of traded goods between the two countries, perhaps with a provision for Iran to purchase goods in rubles. The Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade is in negotiations to found a joint enterprise for automobile and road-building equipment production.

So, while depressed oil prices and their effect on the ruble exchange rate is a major concern and has generated skepticism about the wisdom of the Kremlin’s support for the nuclear agreement, it should be noted that additional Iranian oil exports will occur no earlier than early 2016, once the IAEA has verified Iranian compliance. What’s more, the years of sanctions have left Iran’s oil exploitation infrastructure in great need of modernization and repair, and this will require no small amount of expertise and capital.

Thus, a number of factors will prevent Iranian exports from having a sudden impact on markets: sanctions targeting the energy sector are set to be lifted only at the end of 2015 and Iranian funds will not be released immediately, meaning that much-needed Western and US technology cannot be acquired and implemented quickly.

In an even sadder state is the drilling and pumping infrastructure for gas in Iran.

Russia, with its wealth of experience in exploiting natural gas, building pipelines and transport, is well poised to participate in large-scale gas projects on the territory of the Islamic Republic.

Lastly, the opportunities are not limited to massive state-run companies. Post-sanctions Iran will be irresistible for the world business community, and Russian businessmen have been conspicuous among the well-heeled visitors touring the Tehran Stock Exchange in recent months.


Bibliography Arunova, M.R. “The Islamic Revolution and Russo-Iranian Relations,” in The East and Modernity, No 21. Moscow: 2004. p. 178.

Interview with Hamid Reza Shirzad, in “The Social-historic Development of the Islamic

Republic of Iran (1979-2008): Factors of Stability in State Power.” Appendix 2. Moscow:

2012, p. 273.

Interview with Said Shariati in “The Social-historic Development of the Islamic Republic of Iran (1979-2008): Factors of Stability in State Power.” Appendix 1. Moscow: 2012, p.


Karami J. “Iran-Russia Relations: Expectations and Realities,” Iranian Quarterly. Vol. 9, Nos. 3-4, Fall 2010-Winter 2011.

Kazeev, K. “Oversight Council Rejects Draft Law.” ITAR-TASS. P-08 CK956. 1999.

Kozhanov N. “Russia’s Relations with Iran: Dialogue without Commitments”.

Washington: Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 2012. p. 2-5.

Kozhanov N. “Russian-Iranian Economic Relations: Opportunities and Challenges”. The Drezner, Daniel W. “Military Primacy Doesn’t Pay Nearly as Much as You Think.” International Security 38 (2013), 79.

Mamedova, “Russia and Iran at the End of the First Decade of the 21st Century:

Contradictions and Mutual Interests.” Institute of the Near East. March 12, 2012, http://www.iimes.ru/rus/stat/2012/21-03-12.htm Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, http://www.ved.gov.ru/articles/1197 Trofimov, A. “An Analysis of Views on the Governance of Iran and Russian Perspectives in the Region.” Institute for the Study of Israel and the Middle East. 2003, http://www.iimes.ru/rus/stat/2003/10-04-03.htm

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