Iran reportedly wants to “move away” from taking payment in dollars and euros for its crude exports, the country’s vice president said amid the mounting pressure of international sanctions.
“Iran has the liberty to use the currency it favors,” Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi told reporters at an event at the Economy Ministry in Tehran, Bloomberg reported.
“We will do whatever is in the interest of the country.”
Iran, like most oil exporters, prices its crude in dollars. Financial sanctions imposed by the U.S. and the United Nations make it difficult for Iran to collect dollars from foreign banks for the sale of its oil.
International Oil Daily has reported that Iran, the second-largest oil producer in OPEC, is considering switching to the United Arab Emirates’ dirham from the euro for oil sales to Europe.
“We have different contracts with different countries, but what is important is to move away from euro and dollar,” Rahimi said when asked about reports that Iran wants to sell some of its oil for dirhams, according to Bloomberg. The United Arab Emirates is an ally of the U.S., and it pegs its currency to the dollar.
In June, the United Nations adopted a set of sanctions restricting trade on all items related to Iran's enrichment of uranium.
The U.S. Treasury Department has threatened international banks that are accepting dollars transactions with Iran from being banned from the U.S. banking system.
Earlier this week, Britain and the United States said it was not too late for a peaceful solution to the crisis over Iran's nuclear program, but said they were determined to enforce new sanctions.
"We urge the Iranian regime to resume negotiations with the international community without delay. It's not too late for them to do so," British Prime Minister David Cameron said at a joint news conference with U.S. President Barack Obama.
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