Initiatives Taken to Improve Trade With Friendly States
EghtesadOnline: Iran has taken initiatives to conduct trade with friendly states via methods that are beyond the influence of American financial systems, President Hassan Rouhani said.
"We have found new ways for business … With countries such as India, Malaysia, Turkey, China and Russia, we have taken new steps in [promoting] trade," Rouhani said at a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, the presidential website reported.
He added that besides Iran, that is facing economic pressure imposed by the United States, other countries also agree that the world needs to find an alternative to the US dollar for global trade.
"There was a consensus at the meeting [with Malaysia, Turkey and Qatar] that in banking and financial affairs, the world needs to do away with the [US] dollar and find a solution," Financial Tribune quoted him as saying.
The Iranian president was referring to a meeting with his Malaysian, Turkish and Qatari counterparts on the sidelines of the Kuala Lumpur Summit of Muslim states last week.
Rouhani noted that the ideas proposed and discussed in that session included the use of cryptocurrencies, national currencies and gold for mutual trade.
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad had also suggested in that meeting the idea of conducting transactions by using the gold dinar and barter trade.
"We are seriously looking into this and we hope that we will be able to find a mechanism to put it into effect," he said after the summit, according to Reuters.
Mahathir had also stressed the need for the Muslim world to be self-reliant to face future threats, because punitive measures such as those imposed on Iran and Qatar could target any of them at any time.
Iran has been reconsidering its trading methods with partners since the US reimposed heavy sanctions on it after exiting the 2015 nuclear deal last year.
The US restrictions have adversely affected Iran's trade, especially its key oil export.
Openness to Dialogue
While making efforts to withstand the US pressure, Iranian officials have welcomed negotiations with other countries on an equal footing.
The US has been putting maximum pressure on Iran to push for new negotiations over a more comprehensive deal, aiming to win more concessions out of Tehran.
Iran has announced that any talk with the US could only take place once the sanctions are completely lifted and within the framework of the P5+1 (five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany that signed the nuclear deal in 2015).
Meanwhile, Iran has been scaling back its nuclear commitments under the agreement to restore balance to the deal.
"If P5+1 countries … want to make up for their past mistakes, we are ready for dialogue," Rouhani said.
He said he has reiterated Iran's stance clearly during his recent visit to Japan, which is making mediatory efforts to defuse Tehran-Washington tensions.
"Along this line, proposals were made both by Japan and by ourselves, which we are pursuing," he said.
Rouhani visited Tokyo last week and met Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the first visit by an Iranian president since 2000.