Iran Uses Cryptocurrency for Foreign Trade in Historic First
Iran made its first official import using cryptocurrency, according to the local news agency Tasnim, citing a representative from the Ministry of Industry, Mine, and Trade. The import involved $10 million worth of goods in cryptocurrency this week and Iran expects to further expand the use of crypto and smart contracts for foreign trade in the future, said Head of Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization (TPO) Alireza Peyman-Pak.
Iran Completes a $10 Million Import Using Crypto
Iran has completed its first-ever $10 million import of goods using cryptocurrencies, according to a report by local semi-official news agency Tasnim. The report, which quotes the head of Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization (TPO) Alireza Peyman-Pak, says Iran plans to widely expand its use of digital currencies and smart contracts in foreign trade by the end of next month.
“This week, the first official import order registration worth 10 million dollars was successfully completed using cryptocurrency. By the end of September, the use of cryptocurrencies and smart contracts will be widely used in foreign trade with target countries,”– Peyman-Pak.
Iran’s crypto import comes just a month after the U.S. announced new sanctions against the Middle Eastern country amid its efforts to bring back the 2015 nuclear agreement with Tehran. The new measures aimed to target “an international network of individuals and entities” that have reportedly accelerated the sale of U.S.-sanctioned Iranian petroleum and petrochemical products to East Asia, according to the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
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Iran Remains One of the Most-Sanctioned Countries in the World
Iran has been the most sanctioned country in the world up until earlier this year when it was surpassed by Russia after its invasion of Ukraine. Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed new legislation banning digital payments in the country.
At the moment, some of the sanctions against Iran are imposed by the U.S. including a ban on dealings with the country. Also, the U.S. prohibits sales of aircraft and repair parts to Iran-based carriers. The United States was particularly fierce in its sanctions against Iran, which started back in 1979.
Iran has been trying to avoid the U.S. sanctions on its petroleum sales by using currencies other than the U.S. dollar. During the Iranian mission to the United Nations in New York in 2018, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad said countries were agreeing to use their own currencies in bilateral trade and the “actual mechanism would be to avoid dollars.” During the same year, the U.S. Treasury utilized digital currency addresses to designate Iranian financial facilitators of cybercrime.
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