De-Dollarization Accelerates: Iran and Turkey Discuss National Currency Use in Bilateral Trade

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TEHRAN/ANKARA – Iranian and Turkish banks are working on a plan to establish a financial channel between the two countries based on national currencies, in a bid to evade US sanctions against Tehran, Secretary of the Joint Iran-Turkey Economic Commission Bahman Hosseinpour said.

Talks are underway with Turkish banks to do transactions using national currencies, Hosseinpour said, noting that Iran is currently experiencing the toughest sanctions in the history which is a major problem in the way of mutual cooperation.

Iran and Turkey are planning to define new areas of cooperation in the upcoming 27th Joint Iran-Turkey Economic Commission in Ankara next week, he added. Hosseinpour said that President Hassan Rouhani will leave for Ankara on Sunday to attend the trilateral meeting on Syria.

Rouhani will hold bilateral talks with the presidents of the participating countries on the sidelines of the summit. Following the summit, the 27th Joint Iran-Turkey Economic Commission meeting will deal with the latest situation of economic, trade, financial and banking relations between Tehran and Ankara.

Given the political resolve of the two countries’ leaders for promoting bilateral ties, suitable actions have been made, as a top-ranking delegation from Turkey visited Tehran recently. As to diversification the two countries’ economic and commercial cooperation, he announced the establishment of five financial, banking, energy, transit and health working groups which are tasked to monitor developments unfolding in the respective sectors and settle the problems facing them.

Late in June, Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic Diplomacy Qolamreza Ansari said that Iran gave priority to economic cooperation with the neighboring states and that currently, the friendly neighbors of Iran make up for 95% of Iran’s foreign trade. In July, Head of Iran-Armenia Joint Chamber of Commerce Hervic Yarijanyan said that Yerevan is working on plans to establish new trade relations with Tehran based on national currencies.

Last month, Iranian President’s Chief of Staff Mahmoud Vaezi and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in a meeting in Ankara, exchanged views on increasing the volume of trade between the two countries and underlined the importance of multilateral cooperation to maintain peace in West Asia.

Late in June, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu visited Iranian central city of Isfahan where he met with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif. Zarif told his Turkish counterpart that Iran is ready to significantly increase the volume of trade with Turkey.

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