No 'serious dent' from sanctions, Iran bank chief says

November 21, 2012 17:17

ISLAMABAD - Iran has avoided a "serious dent" to its economy from Western sanctions thanks to large gold reserves, high oil prices and reduced foreign imports, its central bank governor told Reuters on Wednesday.

Gold reserves were enough to last 15 years, Mahmoud Bahmani said.

He added that inflation was running at 20 percent but that there was no need to raise interest rates.

Western nations have imposed their toughest sanctions to date against Iran in an attempt to halt its disputed nuclear program, causing the rial to plummet, inflation to jump and hundreds of thousands of Iranians to lose jobs.

"We can't say that sanctions did not damage us. They did, but we thrashed out plans to control the damage and were able to avoid a serious dent to our economy," the central bank chief said in a rare interview.

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