TEHRAN, (AFP) – Iran has made arrangements to start selling its oil in any currency rather than just the US dollar, central bank chief Mahmoud Bahmani said in a report on Friday.
“We will do our trade in any currency possible,” said Bahmani, quoted by the ISNA news agency, without giving a launch date for the policy or specifying if Iran would refuse to be paid in dollars.
“Maybe a country wants to use its own currency in trade — we will accept that,” he said, adding that the Islamic republic would have to absorb any “additional cost” associated with the switch.
The governor did not say whether or not Iran, the second largest exporter in the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, would snub both the dollar and the euro, as announced by a top official earlier this week.
First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi said the policy would affect the single European currency as well as the greenback in a report on Tuesday by leading economic daily Doniye e-Ektesad.
“We are going to remove the dollar and euro from our foreign currency basket and replace them with (the Iranian) rial and all other currencies of the countries which accept to cooperate with us,” he said.
Rahimi said the move was being made in retaliation for economic sanctions which Western nations have slapped on Iran.
The UN Security Council hit Iran with a fourth set of sanctions on June 9 over a nuclear programme which the international community fears is geared towards making an atomic bomb, a charge Tehran has consistently denied.
The United States and European Union have since followed that up with tougher punitive measures targeting Iran’s banking and energy sectors.