It should come as no surprise that the government of Iran has been deliberately obfuscating its gold holdings for the past several years, but what is unexpected is just how little gold the country is believed to have in reserve. Actual numbers show the totals to be 5 to 6 times less than what was initially claimed.
The Azerbaijani news outlet Trend reported today that officials of Amadinejad’s regime published the contradictory data about the country’s gold reserves as part of efforts to combat sanctions imposed by the west and to exert greater influence over the comex and forex markets.
In 2010, the former governor of the Central Bank of Iran, Mahmoud Bahmani, reported that the country had undergone a gold-buying spree amid anticipation of rising gold prices. He also stated at the time that the country currently held 15 years worth of gold reserves.
Without referring to specific totals in the bank he said that the country’s annual consumption was 30 to 35 tons, which would equal to a reserve of around 450 tons. A year later, Bahmani told the Islamic Republic News Agency that the country held 500 tons.
Last year, Ahmadinejad himself recalled that the price of gold at the beginning of his administration was under $300 per ounce and said “We seized the opportunity and bought and stored hundreds of tons of gold.”
The Central Bank of Iran stopped publishing reports on gold imports in 2009, but in 2013, when Mahmoud Bahmani was transitioning from his position as CBI governor, he announced that the Central Bank’s holdings were only around 108 metric tons, 5 times less than the number he announced three years previously.
Ebadollah Mohammad Vali, the director of Iran’s Gold and Jewels Producers and Exporters Union, said that there was more than 100 metric tons of gold privately held in Iranian homes. That means the people of Iran have about the same amount of gold as the Iranian Central Bank. Vali told Iran’s Mehr News Agency that the uncertain economic situation in the country is what has led to so many buying and keeping gold in their homes.