Washington, D.C. – Rep. Eliot L. Engel, the senior Democratic Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the following statement regarding the reports of an oil for goods deal made between Iran and Russia.

“I am deeply troubled by reports that Russia is negotiating a multi-billion dollar oil-for-goods swap with Iran. This reckless and irresponsible move raises serious questions about Russia’s commitment to ending Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons. Rewarding the Iranian regime with further sanctions relief while talks to implement Iran’s interim agreement with the P5+1 are still ongoing severely undermines international efforts to force Iran to take seriously its international nuclear obligations. This swap would give Iran the impression that it doesn’t have to implement the interim agreement or negotiate a final agreement in order to resume its engagement with the international community. This will erode the negotiating leverage of the P5+1, make it harder to find a diplomatic solution, and ultimately increase the chances of conflict with Iran.”