Iran bank drops dollar amid new sanctions

At the order of President Trump, US Treasury Department on Feb. 3 placed sanctions on 25 individuals and companies connected to Iran's ballistic missile program or providing support to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' elite Qods Force. The sanctions came two days after after Tehran conflrmed the Jan. 29 test launch of a Khorramshahr medium-range ballistic missile from its base at Semnan. The IRGC statement said that the test did not violate the nuclear deal that took effect last year. The missile apprently flew 600 miles before exploding, in a failed test of a re-entry vehicle. "As of today, we are officially putting Iran on notice," National Security Advisor Michael Flynn said in response to the test. (Jurist, Tehran Times, NCRI, 38North, The Naitonal Interest, NYT, Fox News)

On Feb. 4, Central Bank of Iran announced it will stop using the US dollar as its currency of choice in its financial and foreign exchange reports from the new fiscal year that begins in March. "Iran's difficulties...with the dollar were in place from the time of the primary sanctions and this trend is continuing, but we face no limitations regarding other currencies," said the bank's chief Valiollah Seif.

Stressing that the dollar makes up a meager portion of Iran's foreign trade, Seif said it would not be logical for the US currency unit to be the base currency for Iran's economic reports. "In other words, we have to set a currency as the basis of financial reporting that has better stability and greater application in our foreign trade," he said. (