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Saturday, October 23, 2010
Iran's forex reserve at $100b: central bank
Tehran Times Economic Desk
TEHRAN –-Iran Central Bank Governor announced that according to World Bank statistics Iran has $100 billion in foreign exchange reserves.
Provided that the World Bank statistics are true any country with this amount of reserves would never hit a dead end, ISNA news agency quoted Mahmoud Bahmani as saying.
It may be possible to exert pressure on a small country with $4-5 billion reserves, but the situation in regard to Iran is different, he said.
----- Gold reserves hit record high
He pointed to Iran’s gold reserves and said it had multiplied several times in the past two years.
Bahmani added that currently gold consumption in the country is annually 30 tons, and stated, if the Central Bank doesn’t add to its gold reserves there will remain ample supplies for the next 10 years.
The official noted that the country’s trade balance is positive and this is proof of Iran’s economic strength.
“Regardless of the recession gripping most of the world in 2008 and 2009, Iran’s exports rose 10 percent, reaching 18.3 billion dollars,” Press TV quoted Bahmani.
The economic breakthrough comes despite the West’s efforts to put more pressure on Iran over its nuclear program.
In August, Bahmani said that Tehran has withdrawn the assets held by its banks in Europe to counter new financial sanctions imposed on the country over its nuclear program.
""The Central bank has transferred the bank assets from Europe. Currently there is no problem in regards to blocking of assets of the Iranian banks by the European Union,"" Bahmani added.
He pointed out that the preemptive measure was a precautionary response to a potential European decision to freeze Iranian asset.
He did not comment on how much money was involved, what its destination was or when the transfers took place, AFP reported.
""We will address the needs of our people during sanctions, since the Central Bank predicted the situation six months ago,"" he added.
On June 9, the UN imposed a U.S.-engineered sanctions resolution against Iran over its nuclear program. Iran’s energy and financial sectors were among sectors targeted by the sanctions.
While Iranian officials have repeatedly said Tehran only seeks the peaceful applications of nuclear technology, Israel and its Western allies accuse the Islamic Republic of following a military nuclear program.
Iran rejects the claims, arguing that it has the right to a peaceful nuclear program, as a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency and a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty