Iran calls for US dollar to be ditched

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Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has called for the US dollar to be abandoned in global trade to reduce reliance on the Western financial system.

Addressing a virtual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) via video link on Tuesday, the Iranian leader urged its members to put an end to the longstanding dominance of the greenback.

“The hegemony of the Western world has contributed to the hegemony of the dollar. It is necessary to remove this instrument of hegemony in the global practice and use national currencies for settlements between countries in order to create a new world order,” Raisi said.

Tehran wants to expand cooperation with Russia in building new transport routes in the Islamic Republic, he added.

In May, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Iranian counterpart signed an agreement for the construction of a railway between the Iranian cities of Rasht and Astara.

The railroad linking the two cities is part of the International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC), a 7,200km multi-mode transit system that connects ship, rail and road routes for moving cargo between India, Iran, Azerbaijan, Russia, Central Asia, and Europe.

The Iranian president also emphasized that membership of the SCO would help boost economic development in his country.

Iran became a full member of the SCO during the current summit of the organization, which was chaired by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The organization was founded in 2001 as an economic and security bloc by the presidents of Russia, China, the Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. India and Pakistan became permanent members in 2017.

Iran is gradually emerging from diplomatic isolation and is strengthening ties with its key allies. Over the past year, Moscow and Tehran have significantly bolstered economic cooperation in the face of Western economic sanctions. Bilateral trade turnover has nearly tripled from $1.6 billion in 2019, reaching $4.6 billion in 2022, according to official data.

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