No need to gold imports for a decade, Iran says
Iran has changed some 15 percent of its foreign exchange reserve to gold stocks and there is no need to gold imports for the next ten years, Central Bank governor Mahmoud Bahmani said here on Saturday.
Bahmani made the remarks in a national conference on development of the banking system.
He also said that the country's foreign currency reserve has gained several billion of dollars as a result of the rise in global gold prices.
Bahmani said on October 23 that according to World Bank statistics Iran has $100 billion in foreign exchange reserves.
Provided that the World Bank statistics are true any country with this amount of reserves would never hit a dead end, ISNA news agency quoted Bahmani as saying.
It may be possible to exert pressure on a small country with $4-5 billion reserves, but the situation in regard to Iran is different, he said in a reference to efforts by Western countries pressure Iran financially.
He pointed to Iran's gold reserves and said it had multiplied several times in the past two years.
Bahmani went on to say that currently gold consumption in the country is 30 tons per year and if the Central Bank doesn't add to its gold reserves there will remain ample supplies for the next 10 years.
In August, Bahmani said that Tehran had withdrawn the assets held by its banks in Europe to counter new financial sanctions imposed on the country over its nuclear program.
"The Central bank has transferred the bank assets from Europe. Currently there is no problem in regards to blocking of assets of the Iranian banks by the European Union," Bahmani added.
The preemptive measure was a precautionary response to a potential European decision to freeze Iranian asset, he remarked.