Iran’s cur­rency plum­mets

The Province - - NEWS | WORLD -

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s cur­rency fell to a record low Mon­day, a week be­fore the United States re­stores sanc­tions lifted un­der the un­rav­el­ling nu­clear deal, giv­ing rise to fears of pro­longed eco­nomic suf­fer­ing and fur­ther civil un­rest.

Al­ready last month, pro­test­ers clashed with po­lice out­side par­lia­ment in Tehran in three days of demon­stra­tions sparked by the Ira­nian rial plung­ing to nearly 90,000 to the dol­lar. That fol­lowed coun­try-wide eco­nomic protests in De­cem­ber and Jan­uary, in which 25 pro­test­ers were killed and nearly 5,000 peo­ple were ar­rested.

The cur­rency hit a new low on Mon­day, clos­ing at 122,000 to the dol­lar on the thriv­ing black mar­ket, rapidly drop­ping from 116,000 on Sun­day and 98,000 on Satur­day. The of­fi­cial ex­change rate, avail­able only to busi­nesses with im­port and ex­port li­censes, was about 44,000 to the dol­lar on Mon­day, down from 35,000 on Jan. 1.

Ira­ni­ans have al­ready seen their sav­ings dwin­dle, and shop­keep­ers are in­creas­ingly re­fus­ing to sell cer­tain goods, un­sure of their true value. Many fear things will only get worse once the sanc­tions go into ef­fect.

— THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

An Ira­nian money trader holds a 50 euro ban­knote in Tehran yes­ter­day.

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