Iranian officials meet to remedy currency fall
The leaders of Iran’s three branches of government met behind closed doors on Monday to discuss the critical decline in the value of the national currency.
Iranian media report that Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani, the head of the judiciary, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president, and Ali Larijani, the speaker of Parliament, met for three hours behind closed doors.
No details have emerged from that meeting, but Ayatollah Larijani announced that, while no legislation was expected from the session, the officials managed to “discuss important issues” and “reach good results.”
The rial fell yesterday to a record low against foreign currencies, so that more than 26,000 rials were needed to buy one dollar.
In Parliament, Economic Minister Shamseddin Hosseiny attended an unofficial meeting today, Tuesday, to discuss the deep fluctuations in the currency market.
Ahmad Tavakoli, an Iranian MP and staunch government critic, urged the parliamentarians to condemn the administration’s refusal in recent weeks to inject foreign currency into the market.
“The administration is deliberately refusing to distribute foreign currency, and Parliament should have made a stance against this,” Tavakoli told the gathering. “We must question why the administration is refraining from providing dollars for the market while the value of the national currency has fallen by 55 percent in the past week.”
Mohammad Abotorabifard, the MP chairing the meeting, announced that several urgent meetings are going on between parliamentary and administrative officials, the results of which will soon be announced.
While some rumours have suggested the exchange rate will rise to more than 30,000 rials against the dollar, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has assured the public that the market will be quelled and that “the real value of foreign currency is much lower” than what is being traded in the open market.
The startling fluctuations in Iran’s currency market began last December with the announcement of international sanctions against Iran’s financial and energy sectors.