Iran's Vice President Mohammad Baqer Nobakht said today the country's $22 billion worth of assets has been blocked in China. (Trend, 30 October)
China is Iran's biggest oil costumer, and imported 16.01 million tons of Iranian oil during first nine months of the current year, amounting to 428,160 barrels per day, for a value of about $12.3 billion so far this year.
Beijing makes Iranian oil payments through its national currency, the yuan, and deposits it in a local bank account, which is accessible only for purchasing permitted commodities inside China.
During 2007-mid 2011, Iran also reportedly transferred about $25 billion of assets from European banks to China to prevent it from being frozen and this amount is still deposited in Chinese banks. It is not believed that Nobakht’s report of $22 billion worth of blocked assets includes the amounts transferred to China.
Photo credit: IRNA