Iran currency plunges to record low amid sanctions-mongering from West


Iranians count and exchang United States dollars and Iranian rial banknotes. The value of the rial has plunged in recent weeks.


Atta Kenare

Iran's currency, the rial, has fallen to a record low against the dollar, plunging nine percent in three days, exchange traders told Reuters today

The news comes amid calls for even more sanctions on the Islamic Republic over its disputed nuclear program due to failed diplomatic efforts. Germany's foreign minister on Friday urged a new round in the "next weeks."

Meanwhile, in Iran, things are "really bad," one currency trader who refused to be named told Reuters. "It's the worst it's ever been," the person said by phone from Tehran. 

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Many Iranians are struggling to put food on the table these days. Lawmaker Ahmad Tavakkoli today accused the administration of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of not supplying the market with enough hard currency, reported the Associated Press

European Union foreign ministers wrapped up their meeting in Cyprus this weekend with the possibility of imposing additional sanctions on Iran due to unsuccessful mediation efforts, reported India's Economic Times.

Central Bank chief Mahmoud Bahmani told reporters the currency situation "is one of war," Agence-France Press said, citing Iran's semi-official ISNA news agency. "We are fighting an economic war with the world," he said.

Iran isays its nuclear program is purely for civilian purposes, but Western countries fear it is being used to make a bomb.

The subject has become a subject of heated dispute in recent months, prompting sanctions from the United States in January and a crippling EU oil embargo this summer. 

The rial is worth about 50 percent less than it did a year ago, according to AFP