4 votes

Gold is Money? CNN: Iran Importing Gold to Evade Sanctions

Istanbul (CNN) - Over the last six months, Iran has evaded U.S. sanctions by importing Turkish gold to pay for billions of dollars worth of energy sales to Turkey.

Turkey's deputy prime minister has described what amounts to a gold-for-oil barter system.

"Why did, all of the sudden, Turkey's gold exports, especially gold bullion, go up?" Ali Babacan asked while speaking before a parliamentary budget commission this month. The official transcript of his statements was published by a Turkish government website Wednesday.

"An important part of that is Iran," he said. "When Turkey buys Iranian oil, we pay for it in Turkish lira. ... However, it is not possible for Iran to take that money as dollars into its own country due to international restrictions, the U.S.A.'s sanctions. Therefore, when Iran cannot take this money back as currency, they withdraw Turkish lira and buy gold from our market. They take the gold back to their own country."

According to Turkish government statistics, Iran has imported billions of dollars worth of gold from Turkey since it was ejected from the SWIFT international electronic banking system in March.

See the rest here: http://us.cnn.com/2012/11/29/world/meast/turkey-iran-gold-fo...

On a personal note, my least favorite part of the article says, "Economists say the gold-for-oil trade shows the sanctions are hurting Iran. 'This is very, very 19th century, taking gold around to manage your international sanctions,' said Djavad Salehi-Isfahani, a professor of economics at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute."



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