Qorban Eskandari, who leads the ministry’s Banking and Insurance Department, said that Iran could join Mir within months of conclusion of talks between the Central Bank of Iran and Russia, which he suggested would take place in a very near future.
Speaking to ILNA, Eskandari said, however, that talks with Russia over the payment system are restricted to bilateral financial ties and access to the banking services in countries that have already joined Mir would take place in the future.
Russia established Mir, which means both “peace” and “world” in Russian, in 2017 as an alternative to international financial services like Visa and MasterCard.
Countries like Cuba and South Korea have joined the payment service while Mir cards work in several former Soviet republics as well as in Turkey. Reports have shown that the United Arab Emirates also plans to join Mir.
Iranian Foreign Ministry authorities announced in July that the country will soon start accepting Mir cards for payments and purchases.
The announcement came amid reports showing that Iran and Russia were expanding their economic and trade ties in an effort to counter the impacts of American sanctions on their economies.
On July 23, Iran’s Currency Exchange (ICE) launched a currency pairing system that allowed exporters and importers to settle their payments in Iranian rial and Russia ruble.
Iran and Russia are also in talks to launch a payment messaging service that could rival the SWIFT, a dollar-based international system which has banned the two countries because of US pressure.