A recent controversial decision by a Luxembourg court to endorse freezing Iran’s assets has once against brought a plan by Tehran to ditch the US dollar into the spotlight.
The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) in a statement emphasized that it was still trying to reduce the role of the US dollar in its foreign exchange basket – a policy that officials in Tehran had previously said would make the country immune to Washington’s pressures.
The CBI said this was part of an ambitious plan that had been devised after the intensification of US sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
“This policy is currently still being pursued with maximum care,” the bank added in its statement that was posted on its website.
The CBI further emphasized that removing the US dollar in both official statements as well as in the foreign exchange basket would reduce Iran’s risks to sanctions as well as the related international restrictions.
This, it added, would also result in significant economic and financial gains for the Islamic Republic, the bank added in its statement.
A judge at Luxembourg’s district court last month ruled that 2016 verdict to freeze CBI assets in the country was legal.
What initiated the freezing of more than $1.6 billion of CBI assets was a legal bid by the US to seek compensation from Iran for the victims of 9/11 and their families over the country’s alleged role in the terror attacks.
Washington claims that Iran helped the al-Qaeda terrorist group in conducting the attacks. Iran has repeatedly rejected the allegation and has also rejected US bid to seek compensations through freezing CBI assets in Europe as “completely unlawful”.
The CBI emphasized in its statement that it would appeal the ruling by Luxembourg’s district court.
It also added that the ruling had affected dollar bonds that had been purchased between 1999 and 2007 but were already off-limits to Iran due to sanctions.
Nonetheless, it emphasized that the necessary measures should have been taken to transfer those assets to Iran before the intensification of the sanctions.
The CBI further added that the sanctions as well as rulings by US courts had created multiple layers of difficulties that had resulted in the freezing of Iran’s assets in several instances including the case in Luxembourg.
Yet, it said it was already working on a solution in cooperation with the Legal Department of the Presidential Office to retrieve its assets ordered frozen due to what it described as an “illegal” move by the US.