Iranian rial notes, September 13, 2016. (Felix Krohn/Creative Commons)

Iran’s Currency Falls to Record Low Against US Dollar

Iran’s currency on Monday dropped to its lowest value ever against the US dollar, in the latest evidence that US sanctions continue to wreak havoc on the Islamic Republic’s economy. The rial briefly traded above 200,000 to the dollar before recovering by only 1% at day’s end. In response, Tehran warned that it would revoke the export licenses of companies that do not remit hard currency back home, while the country’s central bank threatened to publish the identities of such violators. Iranian export businesses reportedly keep up to half of an estimated $40 billion in annual non-oil-related sales in foreign accounts. The rial’s plunge has been widely attributed to harsh US financial penalties that were reimposed by President Donald Trump in the wake of his decision just over two years ago to withdraw Washington from the 2015 nuclear deal. At the time, the rial was trading at about 32,000 against the greenback. Last week, Iranian authorities revealed that oil revenues had plummeted from $100 billion in 2011 to a projected $8 billion this year.

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