Iran, Russia Hold Trade Conference as They Ramp Up Efforts To Evade US Sanctions

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Iran and Russia held a joint trade conference in Moscow on Wednesday as the two countries ramp up efforts to bust U.S. sanctions.

At least 70 Iranian companies and 250 “big holding and influential Russian business people” attended the conference, according to a report in Iran’s state-controlled media that signals an increase in ties between Tehran and Moscow. Both countries are suffering under the weight of U.S. sanctions and have moved closer to each other as part of a bid to establish a black-market hub that can evade these measures.

“I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army—your horses, your horsemen fully armed, and a great horde with large and small shields …” Ez. 38:4

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Iran’s ambassador to Moscow said that more than 300 Russian businesses attended the conference in person and that many others followed virtually. The Iranian diplomat said the event signals that “the two countries of Iran and Russia will witness a leap in their bilateral relations.”

Increased trade relations between the rogue nations come as the Biden administration moves to unwind sanctions on Iran as part of a new nuclear deal, which will enable Moscow to use Tehran as a vehicle for its own bid to skirt international pressure.

Opponents of the deal on Capitol Hill are increasingly concerned by carveouts in the accord that will enable Russia to cash in on a multibillion-dollar contract to build out portions of Iran’s nuclear program. It also is likely the new deal will effectively create a “sanctions evasion hub” in Iran for Russian president Vladimir Putin as international sanctions on Moscow increase as a result of Putin’s unprovoked war in Ukraine, according to a policy analysis circulating on Capitol Hill. Additionally, Iran announced on Wednesday that it will soon unveil “nine new nuclear achievements.”

With Russia serving as the primary interlocutor in talks, along with China, it has pushed for all U.S. sanctions on Iran to be lifted. Russian negotiators see Tehran as a lucrative marketplace and seek to increase Moscow’s foothold in the country via concessions in the new accord.

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