Iran’s currency falls to record low

The rial has lost more than two-thirds of its value this year.
Wednesday 05/09/2018
In this file photo taken on August 8, 2018 a man exchanges Iranian Rials against US Dollars at an exchange shop in the Iranian capital Tehran. (AFP)
In this file photo taken on August 8, 2018 a man exchanges Iranian Rials against US Dollars at an exchange shop in the Iranian capital Tehran. (AFP)

The Iranian rial fell to its lowest rate on record, trading at over 150,000 to the US dollar as the country’s economic fortunes ebb after the United States re-imposed sanctions.

The dollar was being offered for 150,000 rials, compared with about 138,000 rials on Tuesday, according to website Bonbast.com, which tracks the unofficial market. The website bazar360.com also quoted 150,000. Mesghal.online gave an exchange rate of 152,530.

There was no immediate acknowledgement of the drop on state media.

The rial has lost more than two-thirds of its value this year and one fourth of its value since Saturday because of a weak economy, financial difficulties at local banks and heavy demand for dollars among Iranians. Many fear that Washington’s pulling out of a 2015 nuclear deal and renewed US sanctions will cut into Iran’s exports of oil and other goods.

A set of US sanctions targeting Iran’s oil industry is due to take effect in November.

Last week, Iran's parliament sacked the minister of economic affairs and finance, the latest in a continuing shakeup of top economic personnel. In early August, Iranian lawmakers voted out the minister of labour and in July President Hassan Rouhani replaced the head of the central bank.

Protests linked to the tough economic situation erupted last December, spreading to more than 80 cities and towns and resulting in 25 deaths.

Sporadic protests, led by truck drivers, farmers and merchants in Tehran’s bazaar, have continued since then and have occasionally resulted in violent confrontations with security forces.

(Arab Weekly staff and news agencies)