Iranian Rial Under Intense Pressure as EU Mounts Sanctions Against Government

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The ailing Iranian rial hit a record low versus the US dollar on Saturday due to the nation’s deepening isolation and the potential for European Union penalties against Tehran’s Revolutionary Guards or some of its members.

As efforts to restart nuclear talks have stalled in recent months, relations between the EU and Tehran have deteriorated. Iran has jailed several European citizens, and the EU has been harsher in its criticism of Iran’s use of executions and violent treatment of demonstrators.

According to diplomatic sources, the Revolutionary Guards will be added to the EU’s sanctions list the following week as the EU considers a fourth wave of sanctions on Iran. However, several EU member states want to go a step further and designate the Guards as a whole as a terrorist group.

According to the foreign currency website Bonbast.com, the price of a dollar on Iran’s black market on Saturday was up to 447,000 rials, up from 430,500 the day before.

Since the statewide demonstrations that followed the death on September 16 in police custody of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian woman, the rial has lost 29% of its value as of January 21.

Since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, the unrest has presented one of Iran’s greatest threats to the theocratic government.

An apparent “global consensus” against Iran was cited by the economic Ecoiran website as the reason for the rial’s ongoing decline.

The Iranian Guards were blamed by the European Parliament on Wednesday for the suppression of protestors and the sale of drones to Russia, and they were asked to be included in the EU’s list of terrorist organizations. The statement was a direct political message to Tehran, but the parliament cannot force the EU to add Iran to its list.

Citizens Abandoning Iranian Rial for Dollars Amid Sky-High Inflation

Mohammad Reza Farzin, governor of Iran’s central bank, attributed the decline of the rial to “psychological operations” that Tehran claims its adversaries are planning to topple the Islamic Republic.

Iranians have been attempting to purchase dollars, other hard currencies, or gold to protect their savings from the country’s around 50% inflation rate.

 

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Azeez Mustapha

Azeez Mustapha is a trading professional, currency analyst, signals strategist, and funds manager with over ten years of experience within the financial field. As a blogger and finance author, he helps investors understand complex financial concepts, improve their investing skills, and learn how to manage their money.