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Iran Regime Reportedly Makes First Import Order Using Cryptocurrency to Evade Sanctions

Crypto-currency coins including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin and Cardano, GETTY
Crypto-currency coins including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin and Cardano, GETTY

Iran has reportedly just made its first official import order with cryptocurrency, according to the semi-official Tasnim news agency. 

The report stated that the order was valued at $10 million, while no comment was made about which cryptocurrency was used in the order.  

Tasnim news, based in Iran, is owned by the Islamic Ideology Dissemination Organization.

Alireza Peyman-Pak, an official for Iran’s Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade stated in a tweet, “This week, the first official import order was successfully placed with #cryptocurrency worth 10 million dollars. By the end of September, the use of cryptocurrencies and smart contracts will be widespread in foreign trade with target countries.”  

Peyman-Pak’s tweet, suggesting that Iran’s regime plans to use crypto for foreign trade, refers to their ability to use this type of currency to circumvent global sanctions placed on Iran’s government over its nuclear program.

A Reuters report from last month found that Iranian traders were able to use the cryptocurrency “Binance” to evade sanctions reimposed on Iran’s regime by the Trump administration in 2018.  

In an about-face from the Obama era Iran nuclear deal, President Trump withdrew from the deal in May of 2018 and immediately applied additional sanctions and an effective maximum pressure strategy on Tehran.  

In June of last year, the Iranian Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade granted permission for 30 crypto mining farms to be created after issuing out licenses.

A considerable amount of crypto is mined in Iran. Elliptic, a blockchain analytic firm, reported in 2021 that 4.5 percent of all Bitcoin is mined in Iran. Iranian authorities also stated that they plan to release a pilot version of their own crypto called “Rial” later this month.

Although Iran has not made any cryptocurrency official legal tender, with the new import purchase and the expected roll out of “Rial” later this month, it is no longer out of the question.  

 

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