Iran gained 5 billion dollars by euro switch: banker

TEHRAN, November 23, 2009 (AFP) – Iran’s central bank chief said on Monday that the country has gained five billion dollars by replacing the US dollar with the euro in its currency basket, state-owned English language Press TV reported. “Iran has considerably reduced the total of US dollars in its currency basket,” Mahmoud Bahmani said at a bankers’ seminar in Tehran.

Since October 2007, Iran has received 85 percent of its oil revenues in currencies other than the US dollar, the channel reported, adding it is seeking a substitute for the dollar for the remaining 15 percent.

The Iranian government began preparing the ground for the dollar’s replacement by the euro and other foreign exchanges in 2005, it said.

The channel said the constant slide of the dollar coupled with the persisting economic crisis in the US has forced many countries to drop the currency in favour of a more stable and valuable one.