Iran’s currency Rial fell to a record low against the US dollar.
According to the Foreign Exchange site, The U.S. Dollar was fetching as much as 601,500 rials on Iran’s unofficial market on Sunday, compared with 575,000 on the previous day and 540,000 on Friday.
Iranian authorities have blamed the currency’s fall on “the enemies’ plot” to destabilize the Islamic Republic after months of unrest sparked by the death in custody of a young woman on Sept. 16.
The rial has lost nearly half of its value since the start of nationwide protests, the boldest challenge to theocratic rule since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
With protests in Iran persisting, demonstrations in other parts of the country have waned in the past few weeks.
Facing an inflation rate of about 50%, Iranians seeking safe havens for their savings have been buying dollars, other hard currencies or gold, suggesting further headwinds for the rial.
The reimposition of U.S. sanctions in 2018 by former President Donald J. Trump has harmed Iran’s economy by limiting Tehran’s oil exports and access to foreign currency.
Iran denies supplying drones to Russia for use in the Ukraine war.
The decreasing likelihood of salvaging Tehran’s 2015 nuclear pact with world powers amid stalled talks since last year could also mean that crippling economic sanctions re-imposed by Washington when it ditched the pact in 2018 will continue to weigh on Iran’s economy.
Faced with the prospect of further economic hardship, Iranians have been turning to dollars and other hard currencies or gold to protect their savings amid an inflation above %53 and rising prices.
To calm the market and ease demand for dollars, the central bank on Saturday lifted a ban on private exchange shops selling hard currencies.