Collapse of the Iranian riyal leads to central bank chief's ouster

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Iranian media outlets have reported that the Head of the Iranian Central bank, Valiollah Seif, has resigned days after the second drop of the currency within weeks.

The exchange rate of the Iranian riyal reached 63,000 against one US dollar.


Seif presented his resignation to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday who accepted it and reports suggest he has begun the process of looking for a replacement, according to Tasnim news agency.

For his part, prominent reformist journalist Bahman Ahmadi Amouee, who is close to the Iranian government, confirmed the news on Twitter.

Seif attributed the collapse of the currency to political reasons and external pressure. He had promised last month to parliament that the Iranian currency would not drop further again, but exchange rates set a new record and a hike is expected.

Iranian sources mentioned that Iranian Vice President for Economic Affairs Mohammad Nahavandian is being considered the most prominent candidate for the post to replace Seif.

Reports suggest that since the beginning of the current week, the dollar price ranged between 65,000 Iranian riylas in the banking markets, but some brokers traded it at 70,000 until Monday.

With the approaching announcement of US President Trump’s decision on the nuclear agreement, US sanctions are expected to be reinstated. Foreign currency and the price of coins are witnessing an increasing rise against the dollar, according to financial analysts who spoke to Iranian Bazaar website.

Exchange shops in different Iranian cities had closed their doors on Tuesday because they could not buy or sell foreign currency at the government’s fixed rate set at 43,000 riyals against the dollar.

In recent weeks, authorities have also closed 80 exchange shops in Tehran and arrested 39 traders working in the foreign exchange market on charges of violating the exchange market.

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