Iran’s currency drops to lowest value ever against US dollar

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Iran’s currency on Monday dropped to its lowest value ever against the dollar and officials warned Iranian exporters to bring their foreign earnings home from abroad.

Money exchange shops briefly traded the Iranian rial 200,000 for a dollar and later in the day, the currency was valued at 198,000 rials against the dollar. The lows were a new record after the rial on Saturday traded at 190,000 for the dollar.

The plunge of the rial comes amid severe US sanctions imposed on Tehran. Iran’s Senior Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri on Monday urged Iranian exporters to bring home their earnings from abroad. Last week, Jahangiri said Iran’s oil revenues have plummeted to $8 billion from $100 billion in 2011.

The country’s commerce ministry warned that it would revoke export licenses for those who fail to comply and bring the hard currency home while Iran’s central bank said on Sunday that it would publish the names of the violators.

A picture taken on November 10, 2019, shows an Iranian flag in Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant. (AFP)
A picture taken on November 10, 2019, shows an Iranian flag in Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant. (AFP)

Iranian companies reportedly export non-oil products in the value of more than 40 billion dollars a year, and officials say about half of that money stays abroad.

The rial has tumbled from a rate of 32,000 rials to $1 at the time of Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. The currency unexpectedly rallied for some time after President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the US from the nuclear deal and reimpose crippling trade sanctions on Iran more than two years ago.

The sanctions have caused Iran’s oil exports, the country’s main source of income, to fall sharply.

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