Russia, Iran Consider $8 Billion Of New Contracts
July 28, 1999, MOSCOW (AP)--Russia and Iran are considering new economic
cooperation contracts worth up to $8 billion, Russian Deputy Prime Minister
Nikolai Aksyonenko said Wednesday after talks with a visiting Iranian
Some of the new deals would involve mining and steel projects, Aksyonenko
said after talks with Eshaq Jahangiri, Iran 's minister of mines and metals,
the Interfax news agency reported.
Aksyonenko didn't elaborate on other projects, and nuclear cooperation
wasn't specifically mentioned. However, the chairman of Iran 's Nuclear
Energy Organization, Mohammed Aghazadeh, is scheduled to visit Moscow
in August or September, Aksyonenko said.
Iran 's national security chief is also expected in August, and the
two sides are likely to sign several science and technological cooperation
agreements, Aksyonenko said.
Russia is helping Iran build a nuclear power plant at Bushehr - a project
the United States strongly opposes for fear the plant will be used to
develop nuclear weapons. Moscow and Tehran both say the plant can be used
for civilian purposes only.
Aksyonenko also urged an increase in trade between Russia and Iran ,
which totaled $546 million in 1998. The volume "reflects neither
the two countries' economic potentials nor the level of their political
relations," he said.
Aksyonenko and Jahangiri also discussed the division of the Caspian
Sea's rich oil resources - a problem that has blocked development of the
oil fields - and building a pipeline to export the oil globally.
The three nations with most oil near their coastlines - Kazakstan, Azerbaijan
and Turkmenistan - want the Caspian divided into national sectors so they
can claim the oil for themselves.
Russia and Iran wanted the sea's resources to be shared by all.
"In the Caspian Sea, Russia and Iran have common strategic interests,
so we should be guided by common positions," Aksyonenko was quoted