The debt being covered by gold is 1 thing, having the entire money supply covered by gold is another thing entirely (hence the gross external debt isn't really relevant in this particular discussion). Quoting: Anonymous Coward 22089462
I guess so, but I think it might be possible to come up with a gold/oil mix backing $200 Bn?
[link to en.wikipedia.org
currency and demand deposits—an aggregate commonly known as M1—were equal to $71.7 billion.
In that same year, M2—an aggregate equal to M1 plus savings deposits, small time deposits, and money market mutual funds—was $153.6 billion.
According to the CBI, the country's liquidity amounted to some $174 billion by April 2008,
$197 billion by October 2009.
and over $300 billion in 2011.
Estimates put the amount of capital floating in Iran's market at $254 billion in 2012.