Russia poised to abandon US dollar in transactions with Iran – Foreign Minister

Moscow, Dec12 (Sputnik) – Russia will continue seeking to conduct bank operations with Iran in national currency, dropping the US dollar from transactions, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Saturday.
“With regard to the currency of our transactions, our priority — same as Iran’s — is dedollarization, the suspension of dollar, the role of which in the international monetary system is being grossly abused by the United States. More and more countries take this stance, realizing that the dependence on the dollar can any moment be used against them, as is the case with Iran,” Lavrov said in an interview with Iranian public radio and television.
According to the minister, the main currency of transactions between Russia and Iran is the Russian ruble at the moment.
“The use of national currencies is our goal not only within the Eurasian Economic Union [EAEU] and its partners. We also discuss it with other colleagues in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, BRICS and other formats. I can assure you that we will continue this line with our Iranian colleagues,” Lavrov said.
Russia’s support of Iran in the face of unilateral Western sanctions might be the largest in scope, the Russian foreign minister said, stressing Moscow’s absolute opposition to any extraterritorial economic restrictions.
“Not only do we not recognize unilateral sanctions, but we support Iran by concrete actions. We might be doing more than any one else. I cannot cite concrete examples as the information is rather sensitive, but Tehran knows very well about what we are doing. Converted to figures, this is about billions of dollars. The work is underway across all sectors — from agriculture to IT,” Lavrov said.
The minister pointed to the increase in trade between Russia and Iran despite the pandemic, citing a temporary agreement that Tehran signed last October with the EAEU.
“In the first six months [after the deal was signed], the EAEU-Iran trade grew by almost 15 percent. Supply chains between Iran and EAEU member-states have intensified. In the first nine months of 2020, despite the pandemic, Iranian exports to EAEU countries grew almost 30 percent — this is the world’s best result in export growth amid the coronavirus-related consequences,” Lavrov said.
Moscow and Tehran have the potential to scale up bilateral trade and economic ties, as well as military cooperation, as stated by the Russian official.
“We can use this potential even fuller by shifting from the temporary agreement between the EAEU and Iran to a free trade agreement. This is the next steps, already in the works by experts,” Lavrov said.
In 2015, sanctions were removed from Iran in exchange for signing an international deal and committing to scale down its nuclear program. The deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, included Iran, China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union.
The original deal turned short-lived as the US unilaterally withdrew in 2018 and re-imposed sanctions on Tehran, following up with many more rounds of restrictions targeting primarily Iran’s oil industry and banking sector.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here