According to Iran’s Supreme Audit Court which monitors the Oil Ministry’s deposits into the state treasury, the Central Bank of Iran has received a payment of $4,105,219,136 from Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC). This was part of ENOC’s settlement with Iran for per-sanction purchases of oil and gas. Last year the Western sanctions which were imposed upon the Islamic Republic over its nuclear program were lifted. Shortly thereafter the country’s Ministry of Petroleum reported the international oil companies had started paying their obligations owed to Iran for purchases of oil made before the sanctions were put in place.

Domestic Oil And Gas Production

While the sanctions were in place banking restrictions had prevented several major energy companies from transferring payments to Iran. Debtors included: The United Arab Emirate’s ENOC, the Anglo Dutch energy company Shell, the Italian energy major Saras, and Hellenic Petroleum the one of the largest companies in the troubled nation of Greece.

International sanctions had devastated the Iranian economy for nearly a decade when in July of 2015 Iran signed came to a historic agreement to scale back it’s nuclear program. Six months later in January of 2016, the United Nations announced it was satisfied that the Islamic Republic had honored its end of the bargain. Following this announcement, Iran was largely able to rejoin the global economy and immediately access more than $50 billion in assets which had been frozen since 2006. Additionally Iran was once again given the freedom to sell it’s oil and purchase goods on the international marketplace.

The primary US sanctions which unilaterally remain in place restrict US banks and their foreign subsidiaries from making transactions with Iran denominated in US dollars. The US dollar is the world’s reserve currency and since 1974 oil has been priced in US dollars. Oil is Iran’s primary export, meaning the US sanctions have presented a major obstacle to the economic recovery of the Islamic republic.