15 September 2016
A top trade official in Tehran says Iran and Russia are working on opening a joint bank between the two countries, adding that the move will help strengthen their currencies.

"There currently aren't any Russian banks in Iran, and the Russian currency is not very well known on the market. When Russian banks begin to operate in Iran, there will be more currency operations and the ruble will strengthen," said Bahram Amirahmadiyan of the Russia-Iran Friendship Society.

"I hope the same will happen to the Iranian rial in Russia. That's why we are waiting impatiently for this initiative to go ahead," Amirahmadiyan told Sputnik Persian.

He added that Iranian and Russian traders alike want to carry out their trade operations in their national currencies. This can also widen and improve economic cooperation between the two countries, Amirahmadiyan added.

"At the moment, all banking operations between Russia and Iran are carried out in dollars or euros. It's very inconvenient, because all these operations are controlled either by the EU or US central banks," he emphasized.

According to official figures from Russia's Federal Customs Service, Russian-Iranian trade as a proportion of Russia's international trade increased from 0.2 to 0.4 percent in the first half of this year, following the partial lifting of sanctions. Between January and June, the total turnover of trade between the two countries was $923.7 million, Sputnik added.

"The key problem in the way of increasing the volume of trade between the two countries is the lack of a single joint banking mechanism. This is a very valuable and rational initiative from Russian banks, and I am sure it will succeed in practice. The Russian-Iranian Chamber of Commerce is actively working on opening a joint Russian-Iranian bank," Amirahmadiyan said.

© Iran Daily 2016