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Iran Arrests 25 Currency Traders For 'Disturbing Forex Market'

Iran -- The Ministry of Intelligence and National Security, logo.

Media in Iran reported on Monday that 25 people have been arrested for “disturbing the forex system of the country” and “smuggling foreign currencies by illegal trading”.

As Iran has been in the grips of economic crisis for more than a year and its currency losing most of its value, the authorities have often blamed currency traders and even executed a few individuals.

Reports about the latest arrests, quote the intelligence ministry as saying that traders in Tehran, Qazvin and Mazanderan provinces traded about $450 million worth of forex in the last four years. Others arrested in Eastern Azerbaijan province engaged in $65 million worth of “illegal” trades.

The Islamic Republic’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei last June ordered officials to deal strictly with those who “disturb economic security”. But Iran’s economic problems run deep and compounded by U.S. sanctions President Donal Trump reimposed after May 2018, when he decided to withdraw from the nuclear agreement with Iran.

Economists and experts have warned that harsh treatment of traders can only have a temporary impact on the value of Iran’s currency but on the long run it will not be effective.