The value of Iran’s foreign exchange and gold bullion reserves stood at $135.5bn as of the end of 2016, according to newly released CIA data, the Tehran Times reported on January 24.
Iran’s dollar and gold reserves have been on the decline in recent years due to the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) using the assets to keep ministries afloat amid the impact of international sanctions. But the $135.5bn figure would represent a $25.5bn increase was recorded over the past year, leaving Iran with a world ranking of sixteenth.
The Iranian newspaper noted that at the level given by the CIA data, Iran’s reserves of gold would exceed those of Italy, the UK, Turkey, Canada and Spain.
Iran’s FX and gold have in recent years taken hits due to successive governments dipping into the reserves for state projects.
As part of a prisoner swap deal in 2016, which included Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, Iran received some $1.4bn in cash from the US for dues owed to the country from before the Iranian revolution of nearly four decades ago.
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