Russia, Iran Ditch Dollar in Trade, Ambassador Says

Russia and Iran have given up the U.S. dollar in settlement payments and plan to shift completely to national currencies, with the euro to be used in situations in which there are no other options, Russia’s Ambassador to Iran Levan Dzhagaryan said, according to RIA news agency.

“It is crucial for Russia to shift to national currencies in settlement payments with Iran. We will be using all existing means to bring the mentioned indicators to the highest possible level,” he noted, adding that virtually Moscow “has already given up the dollar in cooperation with Iran.”

“We will rely on the Russian ruble and the Iranian rial, and on the euro if absolutely necessary, if there are no other options,” the diplomat said.

“That is a challenging task, though I believe that the banking structures of the two countries have the potential required to successfully implement the tasks,” he added.

Last autumn, Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak said that about 25-30% of settlements between Russia and Iran were conducted in national currencies.

Despite efforts by European countries to keep trading with Tehran after the U.S. pulled out of the Iran nuclear agreement last year, their efforts still do not fully address Tehran’s interests, Dzhagaryan believes.

The diplomat said that the payment system recently created by France, Germany and the UK to facilitate trade with Iran raises “more questions than it answers,” claiming that it does not change the state of affairs for Tehran.

He explained that the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) covers only items not blacklisted by the U.S., but does not apply to vital sectors of trade for Iran.