Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Iran Switches Reserves to Gold: Report - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
Select Page

TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iran has converted financial reserves into gold to avoid future problems, an adviser to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in comments published on Saturday, after the price of oil fell more than 60 percent from a peak in July.

Iran, the world’s fourth-largest oil producer, is under U.N. and U.S. sanctions over its disputed nuclear programme and is now also facing declining revenue from its oil exports after crude prices tumbled.

“With the plans of the presidency…the country’s money reserves were changed into gold so that we wouldn’t be faced with many problems in the future,” presidential adviser Mojtaba Samareh-Hashemi was quoted as saying by business daily Poul.

He gave no figures or other details.

Before oil prices plunged by more than 60 percent from a peak of $147 per barrel in July, Iran made windfall gains from its crude exports and in April estimated its foreign exchange reserves at about $80 billion.

Iranian officials in July denied reports Iranian banks were moving funds from Europe, with one report suggesting as much as $75 billion had been withdrawn and converted into gold or placed in Asian banks, because of a threat of tightening sanctions.

The International Monetary Fund said in August that if the price of Iranian crude fell to $75 a barrel, Iran would face a current account deficit in the medium term that would be tough to sustain due to Tehran’s financial isolation.

On Friday, U.S. crude fell $1.20 at $57.04.

Gold futures ended more than 5 percent higher on Friday and bullion ended the week about $10 higher compared with its last Friday’s close of $735.95 as investors covered short positions.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

More Posts

Follow Me:
FacebookGoogle PlusYouTube