Iran’s rial hits new low against dollar
TEHRAN - Agence France-Presse
The photos shows euro and US 100-dollar banknotes next to Iran’s rial banknotes, bearing a portrait of Iran’s Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in Tehran, Sept 30. AFP photoIran’s currency, the rial, crashed more than 13 percent in trade yesterday to a record low of 33,500 to the dollar, according to the Mesghal.com exchange tracking website.
The dramatic freefall added to more gradual losses in past months that have seen the rial lose more than three-quarters of its value compared with the end of last year, when it was at 13,000 to the dollar.
Iran is suffering heightened geopolitical tensions over its nuclear programme and the effects of draconian Western sanctions which are hitting its economy. It also is burdened with high inflation and rising unemployment.
The latest rate given by Mesghal extended a loss of nine percent seen immediately as trading opened on Monday, compared with Sunday’s close of 29,600.
Some other websites that usually give real-time exchange data, such as Mazanex.com, had the dollar rate for the rial censored.
The plunge was hammering Iranian companies.
“It’s a disaster,” a manager of a business in Iran’s import sector told AFP on condition of anonymity. “A client lost one billion rials in one day” -- the equivalent of $30,000 at the latest rate.
The Fars news agency, in a report on Sunday, said money changers in Tehran were hoarding dollars.
“We do not know what will happen in the coming days, we do not know what the government will do,” Fars quoted one money changer saying.