No U.S. No Problems: Iranian Commander Calls for Crypto Use to Evade Sanctions

In Iran, domestic leadership has recently increased its efforts to explore how crypto can be used to avoid the long reach of the USD
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Even if cryptocurrency projects like Bitcoin and Ethereum were never created, the 21st century has long been primed for geo-political and economic shifts that, as they continue to play out, should considerably impact major currencies.

One related area of interest that analysts and academics have recently been tracking is the possible decline of the U.S. dollar’s dominance in the decades ahead. 

If such a decline does pan out, big macroeconomic changes are in store across the international stage. The Federal Reserve, America’s central banking system and stewards of the dollar, directly and indirectly affect the monetary policy of the 2/3rds of the global economy that is intimately connected with the USD.

The fact that stateless and permissionless cryptocurrencies exist at all only serve to amplify the possibility of significant economic shifts on the horizon, e.g. a declining USD.

Some officials abroad are already exploring crypto as an avenue to “drop out” from America’s reigning economic hegemony, as we’ve just seen once again in Iran.

Comdr. Mohammed: “We Are Calling for … Cryptocurrencies”

In Iran, which has had poor diplomatic relations with the U.S. for decades, domestic leadership has recently increased its efforts to explore how crypto can be used to avoid the long reach of the USD and the hard bite of America’s economic sanctions.

However, this year tensions between the two countries reached new heights after the U.S. and Iran exchanged acute military strikes back in January. With the political stakes now raised like never before then, Iran’s exploratory crypto efforts are only set to grow.

Against that backdrop, it’s no surprise that the Iranian Labour News Agency reported this month that Saeed Mohammed, a commander with the Iranian engineering giant Khatam-al Anbiya Construction, has made a public plea for Iran to leverage crypto to more nimbly evade economic sanctions.

“We are demanding a more sophisticated mechanism to circumvent sanctions, and we are calling for the activation of the use of cryptocurrencies, and we want bilateral or multilateral monetary agreements,”

Comdr. Mohammed said.

The commander’s new crypto comments are even more interesting since Khatam-al Anbiya Construction is an arm of the Iranian Armed Forces, with the firm functioning as a sort of commercialized version of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In this light, the officer’s public remarks hearken to a sense of national struggle.

“Today we are in the economic war,” Comdr. Mohammed added.

Comes on Heels of President’s Similar Remarks

Last December, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani used the annual Kuala Lumpur Summit as a platform to call for the Muslim world to embrace an Islamic cryptocurrency. The reasoning was the same as the logic behind Comdr. Mohammed’s new comments.

“The Muslim world should be designing measures to save themselves from the domination of the United States dollar and the American financial regime,” President Rouhani said at the time.

Accordingly, the Iranian president noted such a crypto could improve trade relations between Islamic nations and could lead to an increased entrenchment around their shared sphere of influence.

Moreover, Rouhani called for the creation of a “joint fund” and a “joint research center” so these nations can more efficiently collaborate on these kinds of specialized technological innovations.

A Down Dollar Not So Crazy?

This month, news broke that the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) was interested in bringing aboard a researcher who would explicitly study how a declining dollar would affect the world stage.

Per the position’s job listing, ODNI specifically cited cryptocurrency proponents as one group who thinks USD will decidedly lose ground in the years ahead.

“The U.S. should prepare to identify potential ‘black swan’ events that could revolutionize the financial playing field in ways we do not yet understand,” the listing read.

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William M. Peaster is a professional writer and editor who specializes in the Ethereum, Dai, and Bitcoin beats in the cryptoeconomy. He's appeared in Blockonomi, Binance Academy, Bitsonline, and more. He enjoys tracking smart contracts, DAOs, dApps, and the Lightning Network. He's learning Solidity, too! Contact him on Telegram at @wmpeaster

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