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Tehran’s top banker looks to the future

Ebrahim Sheibany is governor of Iran’s central bank, a position he has held for three years. He tells Eric Ellis in Tehran that as far as economic policy is concerned, little has changed, despite the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president.

Ebrahim Sheibany is governor of Iran’s central bank
Ebrahim Sheibany is governor of Iran’s central bank

By Eric Ellis

Iran hangs on in financial markets
Iran’s private sector gets a new lease of life
The role of ‘Justice’ shares

The oil price is high. How are your foreign reserves?

The level is the highest in our history, it’s quite natural because of the jump in oil prices. The period I can compare it with is 1973-77, before the revolution. During that period we obtained about $99 billion, and after that much of it disappeared after the (1979) revolution. It was given as “loans” to many countries – Egypt, Jordan, France – and what was left was about $12 billion. Now it is at our highest level, and a very reliable level.

How much?

It is tens of billions of dollars.

The number is not public?

It is not possible… it is as I said.

Is it a state secret?

Well, it is not disclosed – for us, because of the international environment, we are a little bit careful.

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