Iran is trading oil for gold with Venezuela, Turkey, and Lebanon, according to an Iranian economist.
As the country finds ways to skirt international sanctions, Mohammad Hassan Gholami said Wednesday that Tehran has received gold from its allies in exchange for oil shipments.
Gholami, who is also the head of Iran's GoldMoney Association, claimed that "the Muslim world has moved towards goldmoney" and away from traditional currency, with countries like Malaysia and Kuwait also welcoming it.
Gholami, one of the proponents of "Islamic economy", criticized the Iranian authorities for what he called "sticking to the dollar" and called for ditching the US currency in favor of local, even though Iran's Rial has fallen to its lowest in decades amidst soaring inflation.
His statements came as the Islamic Republic has been subjected to the most severe economic sanctions, including exclusion from international financial exchanges, due to its nuclear activities and more recently, for its brutal crackdown of protests.
The Iranian regime has long been considering selling oil in exchange for gold.
Last year, in a confidential warning to its clients seen by Iran International, London-based Lloyds Marine Insurance Company said that the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Hezbollah illegally send gold from Venezuela to Iran to finance the terrorist activities of Tehran-backed militias in Lebanon, bypassing sanctions.
Lloyds further added that flights from Caracas to Tehran via Mahan Air are being used as an illicit channel to ship gold to pay for Iranian oil, in breach of applicable sanctions.
“The gold is then sold in Turkey, and other Middle Eastern countries, to generate funds for terrorist activity,” the leaked document alleged.