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Secret Iran Gold Holdings Leaked: Tehran Holds Same Amount Of Gold As United Kingdom, And Is Buying More

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Tyler Durden
Zero Hedge
March 21, 2011

While it will not come as a major surprise to most, according to senior BOE individuals and Wikileaks, Iran, as well as Qatar and Jordan have been actively purchasing gold well over the amount reported to and by the IMF, in an accelerated attempt to diversify their holdings away from the US dollar. “Iran has bought large amounts of gold in the international market, according to a senior Bank of England official, in a sign of how growing political pressure has driven Tehran to reduce its exposure to the US dollar. Andrew Bailey, head of banking at the Bank of England, told an American official that the central bank had observed “significant moves by Iran to purchase gold”, according to a US diplomatic cable obtained by WikiLeaks and seen by the Financial Times.” The reason for Tehran’s scramble into gold: “an attempt by Iran to protect its reserves from risk of seizure”. The misrepresentation of Iran’s holdings could be so vast that Iran could possibly be one of the largest holders of goldin the world. “Market observers believe Tehran has been one of the biggest buyers of bullion over the past decade after China, Russia and India, and is among the 20 largest holders of gold reserves… with an alleged 300 tons, big enough to challenge the UK at 310 tons, and more than Spain! ” As a reminder according to the WGC, Iran is not even disclosed as an official holder of gold. Also, Iran is not the only one: “Cables obtained by WikiLeaks cite Jordan’s prime minister as saying the central bank was “instructed to increase its holdings” of gold, and a Qatar Investment Authority official as saying the QIA was interested in buying gold and silver.” Which means that there is far more marginal demand by countries supposedly friendly to the dollar, as many more than previously expected are actively dumping linen and buying bullion. What all this means for the future price of gold, especially with geopolitical tension in the region,  and QE3 imminent, is rather self-evident.

From the FT:

Andrew Bailey, head of banking at the Bank of England, told an American official that the central bank had observed “significant moves by Iran to purchase gold”, according to a US diplomatic cable obtained by WikiLeaks and seen by the Financial Times.

Mr Bailey said the gold buying “was an attempt by Iran to protect its reserves from risk of seizure”.

Market observers believe Tehran has been one of the biggest buyers of bullion over the past decade after China, Russia and India, and is among the 20 largest holders of gold reserves.

They estimate it holds more than 300 tonnes of gold, up from 168.4 tonnes in 1996, the date of the most recent International Monetary Fund data.

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Secret Iran Gold Holdings Leaked: Tehran Holds Same Amount Of Gold As United Kingdom, And Is Buying More  260310banner2

Ummm, according to the WGC the UK (thank you Gordon Brown) has 310 tons of gold… Iran has the same amount of gold in storage as the (formerly) biggest colonial power in the history of the world. And this is not breaking news?

The cable, dated June 2006, is the first official confirmation of Tehran’s buying. Last year central banks became net buyers of bullion after 22 years of large sales, helping drive gold prices to all-time nominal highs. Trades by central banks are often kept secret.

Bankers said other Middle Eastern countries had also been quietly adding to gold holdings to diversify away from the dollar amid political tensions and volatility in currency markets.

“The totality of central bank reserves is not what is reported to the IMF,” said Philip Klapwijk, executive chairman of GFMS, a precious metals consultancy. “There’s probably another 10 per cent on top of that.”

Cables obtained by WikiLeaks cite Jordan’s prime minister as saying the central bank was “instructed to increase its holdings” of gold, and a Qatar Investment Authority official as saying the QIA was interested in buying gold and silver.

“There is no question some Middle Eastern countries are very interested in buying gold,” said George Milling-Stanley, head of government affairs at the mining industry-backed World Gold Council.

Secret undisclosed purchases of physical gold… What next: secret undisclosed selling of paper gold by such unusual suspects as JPM? Unpossible.

This article was posted: Monday, March 21, 2011 at 5:08 am





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