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Transition to National Currencies in Russia-Iran Trade Matter of 2-3 Weeks

The process of switching to national currencies in transactions between Moscow and Tehran may be completed very quickly, a senior Iranian official said.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Transitioning to trade in national currencies between Russia and Iran is a matter of 2-3 weeks, and may be done as soon as the countries' central banks give the green light, Iran's Deputy Trade Minister Mojtaba Khosrowtaj told RIA Novosti on Thursday.

"I am certain that, regardless of sanctions, we must rely on national currencies. This formula is essential for our foreign policy in regard to a number of partners."

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According to the deputy minister, the process is halted by central banks.

"The business community has always criticized central banks because they are too slow when it comes to transitioning to national currencies and creating a system that could be used in difficult times. Our side tries to influence the central bank, Russian partners are doing the same thing, but the banks still operate slowly, so work on this matter is not complete yet."

"As soon as the banks make the relevant decisions, it is a matter of two-three weeks. We don't need much time for this," Khosrowtaj said.

On January 27, Iranian Ambassador to Russia Mehdi Sanaei announced Russia and Iran planned to create a joint account for national currency trade.

Earlier in November, the Iranian Central Bank deputy governor said that the country suspended the use of the US dollar in foreign trade transactions, adding that bilateral currency swap agreements were under consideration.

On Wednesday, Deputy Co-chair of the Russian-Iranian intergovernmental commission Mehdi Mohtashemi stated Tehran had approved Moscow's proposal to establish a bank for investment in joint economic projects.

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