TEHRAN — Iran is seeking to stop the precipitous decline in value of its currency, the rial, by instating a fixed dollar rate, AFP reported Saturday, citing local money-changers.
“We received an order from the Money Changers’ Association (under the control of the Central Bank) telling us to buy the dollar at 25,000 rials and sell at 26,000,” the news agency quoted an exchange bureau employee as saying.
He reportedly added that “nobody is selling at this price and we are not trading.”
Iran’s national currency is rebounding from record lows, days after protests flared in the country’s largest display of anger at economic conditions since Western sanctions were tightened this summer.
The semi-official ISNA news agency said the Iranian rial rose to 29,000 against the US dollar on Saturday at the unofficial street trading rate, which is widely followed by Iranians.
The rial hit an all-time low of 35,500 to the dollar Tuesday. It was 24,000 rials earlier in the week, and close to 10,000 rials as recently as early 2011.
The rial’s decline has been blamed on a combination of government mismanagement and the bite from sanctions imposed over Iran’s nuclear program. The West says Iran is developing nuclear weapons. Tehran denies this and says the program is for peaceful purposes.
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