Azerbaijan, Baku, May 18 / Trend /
Leyla Abdullayeva, Trend analytical centre expert
Iran, in order to preserve capital in anticipation of tougher sanctions, rapidly increases its reserves in gold. Iran's gold reserves were significantly replenished by selling its oil in exchange for gold bullion, and by a significant increase in the volume of imports of gold.
Exports of gold only from Turkey to Iran in March 2012 increased by 36 times, compared to the same month in 2011. According to the Institute of Statistics of Turkey, the total volume of gold exports in the period from January to March 2012 amounted to $1 billion against $411 million during the same period in 2011.
The main importers of gold to Iran, in addition to Turkey, are also Russia and the United Arab Emirates.
In addition, Iran has a lot of its gold deposits, number of which is growing. The deposits with reserves of 16 tons of pure gold were found in April in the province of Kurdistan, which has increased the total stock of gold in the deposits of Iran up to 320 tons. Total reserves of the country in the reserve fund amount to 907 tons valued at over $17.5 billion, Iranian media reported.
Traditionally, gold is used by countries to reserve funds amid political instability and economic crisis, because the exchange rates at this time can vary greatly, and thus lead to large losses as opposed to quotes gold. The gold during the financial crisis has demonstrated not only stability but also growth, which any other asset failed to show.
In particular, Iran, increasing gold reserves, intends this way to ensure its food security, using the gold in the calculations for the imported food. Today Iran has a shortage of grain and rice, and to meet the demand for these products, the IRI is currently paying for their imports from Pakistan, India and China with oil.
Western sanctions against Iran's banking system, its exclusion from the SWIFT payment system, as well as difficulties in the in mutual settlements in national currencies with trading partners pose a threat to Iran's ability to provide itself with essential commodities.
It is known that Iran is waiting for a new phase of EU sanctions, which will come into force from July 2012.
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