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Iran’s Rouhani Calls on Islamic World to Break Free of ‘Dollar Domination’

© Vahid SalemiA woman walks past a satirical drawing of the Statue of Liberty after new anti-U.S. murals on the walls of former U.S. embassy unveiled in a ceremony in Tehran, Iran, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019.
A woman walks past a satirical drawing of the Statue of Liberty after new anti-U.S. murals on the walls of former U.S. embassy unveiled in a ceremony in Tehran, Iran, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019.  - Sputnik International
Earlier this week, Iranian authorities accused the US of resorting to “economic terrorism” by deliberately hindering the country’s access to medicines and medical equipment from abroad.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has called on the Muslim world to join forces to put an end to the US’s efforts at “arrogant domination” of the global economy and politics.

“The Islamic world should adopt measures to set itself free from the domination of America’s financial system and the US dollar,” Rouhani said, speaking at the Kuala Lumpur Summit of Muslim-majority nations on Thursday.

The Iranian leader suggested that Islamic-majority countries could support one another, for example, by signing new banking cooperation agreements and forming new financial mechanisms.

For the moment, Rouhani said, “the interconnectedness of international economic, commercial and financial systems with the American economic regime and dollarisation of national and global economies have provided the US with the possibility of advancing its hegemony under the threat of sanctions and economic terrorism and imposing its illegitimate demands on the other nations.”

“Consolidation of political and economic capacities could turn the Muslim world into a powerful bloc in international relations,” Rouhani stressed, suggesting that the building of independent scientific and technological capabilities could help “eliminate grounds for the imposition of hegemony by others.” To this end, he voiced Iran’s support for the ‘Joint Kuala Lumpur Summit Fund to Finance Technology Cooperation Among Muslim States’, including cooperation in AI technology and cybersecurity, as well as joint market of Muslim states in digital economy and cryptocurrencies.

US Sanctions

The United States has imposed over 90 individual restrictive measures against Iran since its unilateral withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal a year-and-a-half ago, Rouhani said.

“Since May 8, 2018 alone, or after the USA’s exit from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, to today, America has taken over 93 sanctions measures against Iran,” he noted.

According to Rouhani, Iran has faced US sanctions for over four decades, and, recently, Washington introduced more severe “crippling” restrictions, aimed at collapsing the country’s economy. Nevertheless, he said, these restrictions have failed, and “today the Iranian economy has recovered properly and economic indices are improving…Economic reforms are underway and the current budget of the country now being reviewed by the parliament is totally independent from oil.”

Iran’s economy took a severe hit in the last year-and-a-half as the US placed sanctions on the country’s oil exports, which have traditionally made up a significant portion of the country’s budget revenues. Since then, Iranian authorities have taken a series of measures aimed at countering US restrictions amid major street protests related to a government hike in fuel prices.

Nuclear Tensions

Tepid relations between the US and Iran degenerated into outright hostility in May 2018, after the Trump administration unilaterally withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and slapped Tehran with tough energy and banking sanctions, including so-called secondary sanctions threatening the customers of Iranian crude oil. Iranian authorities responded by announcing that Tehran would move to reduce its commitments under the nuclear deal, citing the treaty’s European signatories’ inability or unwillingness to help the country bypass US pressure. Earlier this month, Tehran reiterated its readiness to talk to the US side about the country’s nuclear programme, but only if Washington lifts its sanctions first.

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