Monday, June 16, 2008

Iran 'withdraws $75 bn from Europe'

(Trade Arabia) -June 16, 2008

Iran has withdrawn around $75 billion from Europe to prevent the assets from being blocked under threatened new sanctions over Tehran's disputed nuclear ambitions, a report said.

'Part of Iran's assets in European banks have been converted to gold and shares and another part has been transferred to Asian banks,' Mohsen Talaie, deputy foreign minister in charge of economic affairs, was quoted as saying in an Iranian weekly.

Iranian officials were not immediately available to comment on the report in Shahrvand-e Emrouz, a moderate weekly, which did not specify the time period for the withdrawals which it said were ordered by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

'About $75 billion of Iran's foreign assets which were under threat of being blocked were wired back to Iran based on Ahmadinejad's order,' the weekly said.

Iran's Etemad-e Melli newspaper, also quoting Talai, last week also reported that the world's fourth-largest oil exporter was withdrawing assets from European banks but did not give any figures. - Reuters

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