[Ed. – Moscow Times frames this as “Crimea” offering the ports, but of course, Russia makes all those decisions. This is a Russian move.]
Crimea has offered Iran access to its ports as a way for Tehran to avoid Western sanctions on oil exports, a senior official in the annexed region’s Kremlin-backed administration told Russian media.
Iran is increasingly looking for alternative trade routes to skirt tensions in the Persian Gulf brought on by U.S. sanctions. The OPEC member’s crude exports have dropped by more than 80% following U.S. sanctions on its oil industry, though they have barely affected exports of oil products.
Georgy Muradov, the deputy prime minister of Crimea’s Russian-backed government, said Crimea is “sending signals” of cooperation to Iran “given the anti-Iranian policy of the United States.” …
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“Iran can take advantage of our shipping opportunities and river-sea canals, transporting oil over the Volga-Don canal, via Crimea, to the Black Sea,” Muradov said in an interview published last Tuesday.