Iran is trading gas for Turkish gold, the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister has revealed, confirming recent discussions about an increase in the Turkey-Iran gold trade.
The Journal of Turkish Weekly reported today that Turkey is paying for gas purchases from Iran in Turkish lira, and the Islamic Republic is buying Turkish gold with that money and transferring it to Iran.
U.S. sanctions prohibit Iran from carrying out transactions in U.S. dollars.
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan told parliament on November 22: “As Iran could not transfer the payment to [its own banks] in foreign exchange, the country buys gold with the lira and then takes the gold to its country. I do not know how Iran transports the gold, but this is the root of the matter. The gold export to Iran in reality becomes a kind of payment for the natural gas we buy from Iran in deed.”
The Wall Street Journal reported this week that in the first nine months of the current year, Turkey sold $6.4 billion in gold to Iran.
Iran supplies 18 percent of Turkey’s gas and 51 percent of its oil needs.