Can Muslim crypto fight US economic dominance? Iran thinks so

Steve Kaaru

The Iranian President has proposed the development of a Muslim cryptocurrency as a tool against the economic dominance enjoyed by the United States. In a recent inter-state meeting, President Hassan Rouhani also called on Muslim nations to unite financially as this is the only weapon that can help them combat ‘bully’ U.S.

President Rouhani was addressing heads of state from other Muslim nations in a recent event in Malaysia, the Associated Press reported. He called on the leaders to shun the U.S. dollar, which he believes has been weaponized against Muslim countries.

Iran has been on the receiving end of several U.S. sanctions under the Trump administration. This has caused economic upheavals in the country, leading to violent protests in the past month across the country. These sanctions are unwarranted, Rouhani believes.

He described the U.S. sanctions as “the main tools of domineering hegemony and bullying of other nations.”

“The Muslim world should be designing measures to save themselves from the domination of the United States dollar and the American financial regime,” he stated, saying a Muslim crypto is one of the ways the nations can free themselves.

Malaysia’s long-serving leader, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, supported the idea, echoing President Rouhani’s call for economic independence. This isn’t the first time he has called for an alternative currency, he revealed. His previous calls for an alternative to the U.S. dollar have been shot down by the superpowers, he said.

He stated: “We are hearing this for the first time — that Iran and Turkey are of the opinion that we should use an alternative to the U.S. dollar. We can use our own currencies or have a common currency. It looks like sometimes when we use the U.S. dollar, there are sanctions that can curb economic development.”

Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, also echoed the sentiments, urging unity among Muslim nations. Leaders from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Indonesia were also present in the meeting.

The calls for a crypto alternative to the dollar seem to be rising by the day. China is already working on its state-backed crypto. However, according to reports, China’s crypto will mostly cater to the domestic market.

One promising proposal has been that of BRICS, a five-nation organization comprising of Brail, Russia, India, China and South Africa. BRICS proposed a crypto that would target international settlements, helping them avoid the U.S. dollar. The five nations claim they have already reduced USD transactions from 92% to 50% in the past five years and the proposed crypto could completely wipe out USD usage altogether.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is seen during a meeting with Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and with deputies and Senior directors of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tehran, Iran, August 6, 2019. Official President website/Handout via REUTERS

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