Amid sanctions, Iran’s government allows to use of crypto for imports

    31 Aug 2022

    According to the local news agency Tasnim, Iran is allowing businesses to use crypto for import transactions amid the country’s efforts to circumvent sanctions. The approval for crypto use in imports appears to be part of a broader policy regarding crypto regulations.

    The new Iran law is allowing the use of crypto in the processing of imports, semiofficial Iranian news agency Tasnim reported

    The development comes as a result of an agreement between the Ministry of Industry and the Central Bank of Iran. It allows businesses to transact in crypto for imports, including cars, which previously have been executed in dollars or euros.

    For now, Iran remains sanctioned by the US over its nuclear program. Using crypto rather than fiat currencies is one means to circumvent trade embargoes and sanctions. US lawmakers have raised the alarm over crypto as a sanctions-evasion tool in recent months, citing the possibility that heavily sanctioned Russian entities are leveraging crypto to mitigate the fallout. Now, Iran may be looking to do the same.

    As reported in 2020, the commander of Khatam-al Anbiya Construction, an engineering firm controlled by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, a branch of the Iranian Armed Forces, called for the use of cryptocurrencies to evade sanctions.

    According to Tasnim, Industry, Mines and Trade Minister Reza Fatemi Amin said the decision was finalized by the administration on August 28. Meanwhile, a deputy Iranian trade minister who leads Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization (TPO), Alireza Peymanpak, revealed that crypto and smart contracts will be widely used in foreign trade with target countries by the end of September.

    As recently reported, the first $10 million import order using crypto took place earlier this month. 

    Trade Minister Seyed Reza Fatemi Amin told Tasnim the law tackles all issues related to crypto-assets, including licensure and energy allocation for mining. The approval for crypto use in imports appears to be part of a broader policy regarding crypto regulations.

    Last month, Iran’s government also took steps in preparation for the launch of a new digital currency, referred to as the crypto rial. The monetary authority in Tehran expressed hopes to initiate the project’s pilot phase within the next two months.


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