Iran’s Currency Continues to Fall, Rouhani’s Administration Says Criticism 'Acceptable'

Iran’s Currency Continues to Fall, Rouhani’s Administration Says Criticism 'Acceptable'

Tuesday, 10 April, 2018 - 11:30
London - Adil AL-Salmi
The Iranian currency continued to fall as its rial hit a record low against the US dollar for the second time in two months over concerns about Iran's economy.

The Iranian government, according to several officials in President Hassan Rouhani’s administration, rushed to defend its performance against the harsh criticisms by the state’s newspapers although government Spokesman Mohammad Bagher Nobakht said the criticisms were "acceptable".

The rial, which had plunged through 50,000 rials to the dollar in February, depreciated to 60,000 on the unregulated market.

The rial has reached a series of records-low in recent weeks, and stood at 58,650 to the dollar at the close of business on Monday.

Several foreign-exchange dealers announced they had stopped selling both dollars and euros by late afternoon trade, according to ISNA.

After an emergency session of the government on Monday night, Vice-President Eshagh Jahangiri said the rate would be capped at 42,000 rials to the dollar and foreign exchange offices would be brought under the control of the central bank.

"Unfortunately in recent days, incidents have happened in the rate of foreign currency which have caused concern for the people," he said in comments on the state broadcaster.

He blamed "non-economic, unjustified and unpredictable factors" for driving the rial's collapse, given that its exports were performing strongly.

"There should not be such incidents in an economy that always has a surplus of foreign currency. Some say interference by foreign hands is disrupting the economic climate and some say domestic machinations are spurring these things in order to destabilize the climate in the country," added Jahangiri.

For his part, Nobakht said, “We will certainly use all of the state’s strengths and capabilities in order to, God-willing, steady the market.”

“We accept that this situation is not a good one and it’s against what we want,” he added in a statement.

Rouhani met with officials to discuss ways to intervene and stabilize the currency, Nobakht said. The measures will be implemented in coming days, he added without elaborating.

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