Iran passes from the dollar to the euro for its international trade


LONDON (Reuters) – Iran will start using the euro instead of the dollar for its trade in the framework of the efforts of the country to reduce its dependence vis-à-vis the u.s. dollar due to political tensions with Washington, reported Wednesday the agency official-news Isna.

The decision, taken by the council of ministers, might also encourage agencies and state-owned enterprises to increase their use of the european single currency at the expense of the greenback.

The central bank governor, Valiollah Seif, said last week that the supreme leader, ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had welcomed the proposal to replace the dollar by the euro in the foreign trade, “the dollar no longer having a place in our transactions today”.

Tehran is trying for years to marginalize the u.s. dollar, but the bulk of the international trade of the country is always in dollars and the majority of Iranians also use it for travel or simply for their savings.

The us president, Donald Trump has renewed, on the 12th of January, the suspension of economic sanctions has Iran under the agreement on the nuclear of 2015.

But it was fixed the same day, a final period of 120 days, or until may 12, to enable the United States and their european partners to correct the “terrible flaws” which suffers, according to him, the agreement signed on July 14, 2015 by Iran and the powers in the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the security Council – China, France, United Kingdom, United States and Russia – plus Germany).

Banking transactions in dollars are already difficult in Iran due to legal risks, foreign companies may be subject to sanctions if they carry out transactions with Iran in dollars, even if they are via branch non-american.

France will begin to offer credits denominated in euros to the buyers iranians of his property by the end of the year to avoid possible us sanctions, said the director of Bpifrance in February.

The threat of u.s. sanctions affected the iranian market foreign exchange in recent months.

The national currency, the rial, has lost half of its value on the open market between September and last week, to a low of about 60,000 against the dollar until authorities fix an exchange rate of 42,000 and would throw a warning against the use of other rate of exchange at the risk of incurring a fine.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has attributed Wednesday “recent issues in the foreign exchange market” the foreign enemies of the islamic Republic and have asked the intelligence services of the iranians to defuse the conspiracies against the country.

The spokesman of the police, Saeed Montazer al-Mahdi, quoted by the agency, Isna, said that 39 people trading currencies had been arrested “for disturbing the market”, and that 80 currency exchange shops not approved had been closed these last few days.

(Bozorgmehr Sharafedin, Wilfrid Exbrayat and Claude Chendjou for the French service, edited by Véronique Tison)

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