Official: Some 40 percent of gold at Iran’s markets is imported

Business Materials 3 August 2012 12:29

Azerbaijan, Baku, Aug.3/ Trend F.Milad/

Some 40 percent of gold which currently exists in Iran's market has been imported, the head of the association of Iranian gold and jewelry makers stated.

Ahmad Vafadar added that domestic production meets three fifth of the needs to gold in the country and the rest is imported from Turkey and UAE, the ISNA News Agency reported on Friday.

The quality of Iranian-made gold has improved during the recent years, he said, adding that domestic production of gold amounts to 5 tons annually.

The export data showed Iranian buying from Turkish gold traders has been the crucial factor.

Sanctions to force Iran to curb its nuclear program have targeted its energy and banking sectors and new measures from both the United States and European Union take effect in July.

Indeed, Iran was prohibited from using the global payments system, SWIFT, by the US.
In January the EU and US agreed to freeze the assets of the Iranian central bank and ban all trade in gold and other precious metals with the Iranian Central Bank and other public bodies in Iran.

Tehran announced at the end of February that it is ready to receive payment for oil supplies in gold as well as the national currencies of importer countries - according to Mahmoud Bahmani, Governor of the Central Bank of Iran.

According to IMF data, at the last official count (in 1996), Iran had reserves of just over 168 tons of gold.

The FT reported in March 2011 that Iran has bought large amounts of bullion on the international market to diversify away from the dollar, citing a senior Bank of England official.