Iran said on Thursday that the process to switch to national currencies in transactions between Moscow and Tehran may be completed very quickly.
Iran’s Deputy Trade Minister Mojtaba Khosrowtaj has told the Russian media that the two countries could start to trade in their national currencies within the next 2-3 weeks.
Khosrowtaj has told the Russian media that the policy will start to take effect as soon as the central banks of Iran and Russia give the required go-ahead.
“I am certain that, regardless of sanctions, we must rely on national currencies. This formula is essential for our foreign policy in regard to a number of partners,” Sputnik news agency has quoted him as telling RIA Novosti.
“As soon as the banks make the relevant decisions, it is a matter of two-three weeks. We don’t need much time for this,” Khosrowtaj said.
The official further criticized that the central banks both in Tehran and Moscow need to expedite the procedures to enable the two countries start trading in their transactions.
“The business community has always criticized central banks because they are too slow when it comes to transitioning to national currencies and creating a system that could be used in difficult times,” he said.
“Our side tries to influence the central bank, Russian partners are doing the same thing, but the banks still operate slowly, so work on this matter is not complete yet.”
Iran’s Ambassador to Russian Mehdi Sanaei said in late January that Tehran and Moscow are working on a plan to switch their bilateral trade to national currencies for which he said the two countries will create a joint bank or a mutual account.
Officials said in Tehran on Wednesday that Iran has approved a proposal by Russia to establish a joint bank between the two countries. The bank is expected to facilitate trade between the two countries in their own currencies – a mechanism that is seen to have been specifically designed to enable both countries dodge the US-led economic sanctions.