The reproaches of Western partners regarding the development of Russian-Iranian trade and economic cooperation that bypasses the unilateral sanctions of the West regarding Tehran are groundless, Russian Ambassador to Tehran Levan Dzhagaryan said.
"Our Western colleagues definitely dramatize the situation. Their reproaches to us are groundless," Dzhagaryan told Interfax when asked to comment on the statement of U.S. Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman that if Russia and Iran conclude an agreement on the exchange of Iranian oil for Russian goods, the possibility of which has been reported by mass media outlets, this could affect the dialogue of Iran with P5+1 on its nuclear program.
"We do not recognize the unilateral sanctions of the United States and the European Union regarding Iran, that is why we solely put our national interests first when carrying out trade and economic cooperation with Tehran," the ambassador said.
"Russia is an independent country and is implementing an independent policy," Dzhagaryan said.
Not just Russian companies but their competitors from other countries, including Western ones, are active in the Iranian direction, the ambassador said.
"For instance, a significant group of French businessmen representing the interests of over 100 companies visited Tehran this week. Their allies keep up with them," Dzhagaryan said.
Meanwhile, Sherman said during a hearing in the international committee of the U.S. Senate when asked about mass media reports on possible trade between Russia and Iran: "We are very clear that anything like such an agreement between Russia and Iran might condone potential sanctions and would likely create a tremendous risk within the P5+1 which would make coming to a comprehensive agreement all the more difficult if not impossible."
The U.S. has expressed its concern to Russia at all government levels, including the highest, due to this, Sherman said.
Moscow and Tehran are discussing the possibility of trading 500,000 barrels of Iranian oil for various Russian goods and equipment, mass media outlets reported last month. Iran later denied this information.