Iran, India Seek to Broker Oil-for-Steel Agreement that Would Bypass Sanctions

Multi-billion dollar Indian conglomerate Essar Group will seek to work around Western sanctions to broker an oil-for-steel deal with Iran. India is currently one of the National Iranian Oil Company’s largest clients, while Iran continues to purchase significant quantities of Indian steel in spite of comprehensive sanctions that complicate transacting business with NIOC or other…

Kazakhstan and Afghanistan are preparing to enter the WTO

Kazakhstan and Afghanistan are participating in active discussions to enter the World Trade Organization, said Director General Roberto Azevedo. The accession negotiations of Kazakhstan in particular are now “at an advanced stage of maturity and on the threshold of conclusion,” according to Azevedo’s statement. The expected date of matriculation will be early next year. Afghanistan…

Russia: Putin to step down “by 2024”

Russian President Vladimir Putin is assuring the world that he does not want to run the Russian state for life, but is openly considering running for another six-year term in 2018, according to a new interview with ITAR-TASS. The interview, while never asking direct and hard-hitting questions, does touch on the political cult that has…

Iran Talks: Deadline Passed, Sides Consider Alternatives

Today marked the deadline for P5+1 and Iranian negotiators to come to terms on an agreement concerning the Iranian nuclear program. The probability that a “permanent” agreement would be reached in accordance with the deadline was virtually zero as Iranian negotiators had previously declared a deal before November 24 “impossible” and Western negotiators had already begun to…