Exclusive: Brazil could waive U.S. dollar to bolster Iran trade - minister

Tue Feb 16, 2016 9:34pm EST
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Alonso Soto and Lisandra Paraguassu

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil will accept payment from Iran in euros and other currencies for planes, cars and machinery to sidestep lingering U.S. sanctions on the oil-rich nation, Trade Minister Armando Monteiro told Reuters on Tuesday.

Monteiro is the first Brazilian official to confirm that Latin America's biggest economy could accept payment in currencies including the euro from Iran, which is forbidden from using the U.S. financial system under the sanctions.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff could visit Iran this year to bolster exports, he said.

"Everyone is racing after Iran now ... The trade potential is very big," said Monteiro. "We will find ways to settle payments, the type of payment and currency."

Following a nuclear deal that lifted crippling sanctions last month, Iran has sought to settle debts and sell oil in euros to reduce its dependence on the U.S. dollar.

Monteiro said Brazil aims to triple trade flows with Iran to $5 billion by 2019, a rare bright spot as the country sinks into what could be its worst recession in more than a century.

Rousseff lifted UN-imposed sanctions against the OPEC nation last week after meeting with the Iranian ambassador, hoping to bolster trade between the two nations, which have enjoyed warm ties for years despite tensions with the West.

Although it is not clear whether any attempt to circumvent the U.S. financial system could raise tensions with Washington, Brazil's leftist government in the past has annoyed the United States by drawing closer to Tehran.   Continued...

Armando Monteiro, Brazil's Trade Minister, speaks during a news conference after he was introduced at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia in this file photo dated December 1, 2014. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino