Over 60 pct of payments in Iran-Russia trade made in national currencies: joint chamber chief

  • World
  • Saturday, 03 Jun 2023

TEHRAN, June 2 (Xinhua) -- A senior Iranian business leader said over 60 percent of the payments in trade transactions between Iran and Russia are made using their national currencies.

Chief of Iran-Russia Joint Chamber of Commerce Hadi Tizhoush Taban made the remarks in an interview with Iran's official news agency IRNA, which was published on Friday, commenting on the economic ties between Tehran and Moscow and their efforts to de-dollarize the bilateral trade.

He added this is proof of the two sides' success in their efforts to connect their payment systems, namely Russia's Mir and Iran's Shetab.

Tizhoush Taban described as a very important step toward the de-dollarization of the bilateral trade the contract signed between the two countries' central banks on Jan. 29 to connect Iran's electronic financial messaging system SEPAM and the Financial Messaging System of the Bank of Russia known as SPFS.

He noted that the move also helps the two countries bypass the Western sanctions and increase the level of the bilateral trade transactions, saying according to official figures, over 40 percent of the trade between Iran and Russia is currently conducted using the Russian ruble.

The joint chamber chief stressed that Russia has become the biggest foreign investor in Iran, having so far invested 2.7 billion U.S. dollars in two Iranian oil projects, which account for 45 percent of the entire foreign funds channeled into the country during October 2021-January 2023.

He said the projects Russia is funding in Iran are multifaceted pertaining to the fields of energy, railway construction, car production and agriculture, emphasizing that Iran also supplies foodstuffs and cars to Russia.

Iran and Russia, both being under the sanctions imposed by the United States, have recently expanded bilateral political and economic relations, particularly in the banking sector, to counter the U.S. moves.

In February 2021, Deputy Governor for International Affairs of the Central Bank of Iran Mohsen Karimi said all Russian banks and 106 banks in 13 other countries have been connected to Iran's SEPAM, the semi-official Tasnim News Agency reported.

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