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Ditching US dollar to minimize West's economic dominance: Iran's Shamkhani

Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani (R) and Russia’s State Council Secretary Igor Levitin meet in Tehran on April 9, 2023. (Photo by Fars news agency)

Iran's top security official says the move to reduce the use of dollar in regional and international transactions, joined by several countries, will minimize the West's dominance over the global economy.

Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani made the remarks in a meeting in Tehran on Sunday with Russia’s State Council Secretary Igor Levitin, who is also a senior aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

He said the initiatives finalized between Iran and Russia in the sector of financial and banking exchanges aimed at funding joint projects are an "effective" paradigm for neutralizing the West's unlawful sanctions against the two countries.

The SNSC secretary hailed the promotion of bilateral trade and economic cooperation and emphasized the need to accelerate the implementation of joint economic projects.

He said the completion of the North-South Corridor and bolstering transit cooperation between the two countries are an important part of the joint projects.

Shamkhani said the two countries' incessant efforts would remove any obstacle in the way of the speedy implementation of this strategic project, which would play a determining role in changing the geometry of the transit of commodities in the region.

Once completed, the Rasht-Astara railway will reduce the time needed to transport cargo from Helsinki in Finland via Russia to Iran’s southern ports on the Persian Gulf and on the Sea of Oman by 20 days.

Iran is seeking Russia’s financial support for the project which is estimated to cost 800 million euros, according to latest estimates by the Iranian government.

The project could also lead to a major increase in cargo transportation from Russia to the Indian Ocean.

For his part, Levitin said Russia emphasizes the need to accelerate the implementation of joint projects, particularly in the transit sector, and is ready to invest in various economic sectors of Iran, including steel, oil and petrochemical industries.

In addition to the significant steps that have been taken to promote bilateral economic cooperation, the Russian official added, suitable grounds have been prepared to conclude a multilateral economic agreement and encourage other countries in the region to participate in profitable economic projects.

Levitin is in Tehran on a two-day visit to discuss ways to bolster economic cooperation with high-ranking Iranian officials.

During his last trip to Iran in January, Levitin visited a railway project in northern Iran amid talks between the two countries to secure the funding needed to complete the key North-South transportation link.

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