The recent wave of currency devaluation continued in Iran forcing the national rial into a new low of 240,000 against the U.S. dollar on Thursday.
As recently as March Iran’s rial was trading at around 160,000 to the dollar, but continued pressure from U.S. sanctions and the coronavirus has devalued the currency by 50 percent.
Less than three years ago, the rial was around 30,000 to the dollar and the eightfold devaluation is a huge blow to price stability in the country, pushing the inflation rate to uncontrollable levels. Last Year, inflation was around 40 percent in Iran.
Before the establishment of the Islamic Republic in 1979, one U.S. dollar could buy just 70 rials - meaning the national currency has fallen more than 3,400 fold in 41 years.
In recent weeks, the Central Bank of Iran repeatedly pledged to control the value of the rial and prevent more depreciation but even if the bank did deploy any measures, it has been not able to defend the national currency.
In recent weeks, the government is scrambling to find foreign currency revenues by putting pressure on exporters to repatriate earnings to the country.
President Hassan Rouhani and the central bank have blamed the drop in the availability of foreign currencies in the market on exporters.
President Rouhani has said 20 billion euro for the goods exported in the final months of the Iranian calendar year corresponding to February and March has not returned to the country and threatened the exporters to legal action. However, critics say Iran’s non-oil exports have not even reached 20 billion euros for the president to blame exporters for not bringing back hard currency to the country.