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Iran to pay Chinese, Turkish builders in crude, minerals

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iran will pay Chinese ad Turkish builders in crude, minerals if they become involved in housing projects.

Iran will pay builders from China and Turkey in crude or minerals rather than cash if they become involved in housing projects in the country, says a member of the country’s Supreme Housing Council.

Ahmad Donyamali said on Saturday that Iran is in talks with Chinese and Turkish construction companies to get them involved in a tiny segment of its massive project to build four million affordable houses in the country in the next four years.

However, Donyamali said that a main condition for working with those companies will be to avoid paying them in cash because of restrictions facing Iran in banking and crude export issues.

“In talks with foreign companies we are seriously discussing the oil barter mechanism and we have declared that the condition for partnership … is that we will not pay any cash,” the official was quoted as saying by semi-official ILNA news agency.

The comments are the latest to come from Iranian government officials about the need to use crude shipments to fund key projects or to pay for imports of basic goods into the country.

The oil barter mechanism has been highlighted as a major instrument to offset the impacts of American sanctions on Iran’s economy, especially since an administration came into office in August on promises that it will seek to neutralize the sanctions.  

Donyamali said that Chinese or Turkish builders will have a small share of Iran’s affordable housing project, saying government’s policy will be to award around 90% of the contracts to Iranian companies despite their more expensive bids.

He said paying foreign builders in crude or minerals shipments was not yet final, saying main government departments have to reach a decision on the issue.  

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