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U.S. warns Russian companies engaging in Iran

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David Cohen , the Obama administration’s top official for terrorism and financial intelligence, in a call with reporters, said Washington has warned Russia against a reported oil-for-goods swap with the Iranian regime, and that entities involved in any such deal would be exposed to U.S. sanctions.

Russia signed a five-year memorandum of understanding with the Iranian regime to expand trade cooperation, the Russian Energy Ministry said on Aug. 5.

Based on the agreement Russia will help organize oil sales for the Iranian regime including in Russia, the ministry said in a later statement, without elaborating.

It is still unclear whether Russia and Iran have agreed on an oil-for-goods swap, Cohen said.

The accord, which may turn Russia into the biggest importer of oil from Iran, comes at the time when the country is also countering the U.S. and European sanctions over Ukraine with a ban on a range of food products.

Source: Reuters, Bloomberg