TEHRAN, Sept 21 Iran has replaced the U.S.
dollar with the euro in calculating the value of its Oil
Stabilisation Fund (OSF), Iranian media reported on Monday.
The decision was made earlier this month by President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, based on a recommendation by the board of
directors of the fund, the Poul business daily reported, without
citing any official sources.
State radio said the move was taken because the government
wished to protect itself from the fragility of the U.S. economy
and the weak dollar. The Central Bank of Iran, contacted by
telephone, declined to comment.
The OSF, which forms part of Iran's foreign exchange
reserves, is a contingency fund set aside by the government to
cushion the economy against fluctuating international oil prices
and help both the public and private sectors with their hard
currency needs by extending loans.
The sizes of the OSF and the overall foreign exchange
reserves are not regularly revealed to the public. Ahmadinejad
said last December that the OSF was worth the equivalent of over
$23 billion, and state television reported at the time that the
reserves exceeded $80 billion.
The decision on calculating the OSF is the latest in a
series of efforts by Iran, which is diplomatically hostile to
the United States, to reduce the role of the dollar in its
Iran has pushed for the Organization of the Petroleum
Exporting Countries to switch from the dollar when calculating
international oil prices, though it has so far received little
support for the initiative.
The Iranian central bank has said it has been diversifying
its reserves away from the dollar, but has not revealed details.
(Writing by Hashem Kalantari; Editing by Andrew Torchia/Ruth