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Iran Says Dollar Eliminated From Trade With Russia, Turkey

FILE - Head of Iran's Central Bank, Abdolnaser Hemmati, 2019.

Iran’s central bank chief has said all trade with Russia takes place in national currencies and 30-40 percent of trade with Turkey also is in national currencies, with the rest in euros.

U.S sanctions imposed in 2018 bar trade with in using the dollar system, limiting Iran’s ability to conduct imports and exports, slowing its economy further on top of a ban on oil exports.

Abdolnaser Hemmati who is a technocrat running the central bank told the official IRNA news website on September 25 that Iran does not have any trade in US dollars with Russia and Turkey.

Hemmati claimed that trading with national currencies will gradually eliminate the use of the dollar; a goal Iran has been espousing since the first round of international sanctions imposed in 2011 to curb its nuclear activities.

Central Bank of Iran was directly sanctioned this month by the U.S. Treasury Department, after devastating missile attacks on Saudi Arabia's oil installations.

But in fact, the dollar reigns supreme in Iran as a safe haven from the instability of rial, the Iranian currency. The rial has depreciated more than threefold in the past two years against major currencies.

Iran’s exports to both Russia and Turkey have declined in 2019. Exports to Russia took an 8 percent dip and exports to Turkey declined 37.5 percent reaching a low of $2.8 billion.

But notably, Russian exports to Iran increased by 40 percent to one billion dollars; still a modest sum.