Euros for dollars and gold trade denied by Iranian central bank

Section:

By Parisa Hafezi
Reuters
Sunday, June 6, 2010

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSHAF62139420100606

Iran's central bank chief denied reports over the country planning to sell 45 billion euros from the country's reserves to buy dollars and gold ingots, the Arman newspaper on Sunday quoted Mahmoud Bahmani as saying.

"Such reports are sheer lies and I strongly deny reports on Iran planning to convert 45 billion euros of its reserves to dollars and gold," Bahmani said.

On Wednesday, Iran's English language Press TV quoted a report in Jam-e Jam newspaper in which unnamed "reliable sources" said the decision had been taken in reaction to the euro zone crisis.

But Bahmani blamed foreign media for publishing false reports. Iran's central bank officials declined to comment on Wednesday.

Following the report, the euro eased slightly versus the dollar from around $1.2227 to $1.2213.

The switch announcement was seen as a policy reversal for Tehran, which for many years has shunned the dollar as part of its opposition to its arch foe, the United States.

At a 2007 OPEC summit, Iran -- the world's fifth-largest oil exporter -- suggested oil should be priced in a basket of currencies rather than dollars, but it failed to win over other member states except Venezuela.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has repeatedly said that the dollar was a "worthless piece of paper".

At recently as last November, Governor Bahmani said Iran's then policy of moving away from the dollar, both in its reserves and in the currency it received for its oil exports, had been beneficial.



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