This week an Iranian general called for a unique way to bypass the sanctions on his country enforced by the United States.
Saeed Muhammad, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, called for Iran to use cryptocurrencies to evade the economic sanctions. According to the Telegram channel of Coinit.ir, a crypto news organization based in Iran, the general addressed a crowd on Feb. 26 (translated from Farsi):
"We are demanding the creation of a more sophisticated mechanism to bypass sanctions. To circumvent sanctions, we must develop solutions such as the exchange of products and the use of cryptocurrencies with our partnerships [in other countries]."
Sanctions’ economic impact on Iranian citizens
The people of Iran have seen the value of their currency drop significantly in the wake of the sanctions imposed by the Trump administration, following the withdrawal of the US from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in 2018.
Sanctions have effectively isolated Iran from foreign trade and investment and the use of cryptocurrencies has been on the rise ever since as a way to circumvent them. Bitcoin has been described in interviews as one of the only ways to get money in and out of the country.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s administration announced it would launch a national cryptocurrency back in 2018. More recently, Iran’s Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade issued more than 1,000 cryptocurrency mining licenses to domestic operations.
Earler this week the intergovernmental Financial Action Task Force added Iran to a blacklist of countries not complying with anti-terrorism financing requirements.