TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Iran’s oil minister denied reports that Russia would help Tehran to circumvent the upcoming US sanctions by reselling Iranian crude.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a weekly cabinet session in Tehran on Wednesday, Bijan Namdar Zanganeh denied media reports that Russia may resell Iranian crude to help Tehran bypass the US sanctions.

His comments came after reports suggested that Russia was devising options to help Iran avoid a new round of US sanctions, such as through an oil-for-goods barter system.

There is also speculation that Iranian oil could be sent to Russia where it would be resold to European and Asian customers, although some traders have said they are not willing to buy refurbished Iranian crude.

On May 8, US President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was achieved in Vienna in 2015 after years of negotiations among Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany), and announced plans for new sanctions against Tehran.

The White House has also announced plans to get as many countries as possible down to zero Iranian oil imports and launch a campaign of “maximum economic and diplomatic pressure” on Iran.

Iranian officials have underlined that the US plan to cut the country’s crude exports to zero is not going to happen.

Earlier this month, Zanganeh said the Islamic Republic’s oil exports cannot be stopped, adding that that no country has “the capacity to provide a replacement for the Iranian oil in the world’s demanding market.”