The exchange rate for the U.S. dollar rose on Sunday in Iran to almost 140,000 rials, reaching its highest point in the past three months.
Since early last fall, the Iranian currency had been able to hold its own at about 100,000 rials to the dollar after steep declines last year, when rial dropped to as low as 180,000 in late September against the dollar. But in the past seven days, the rial started sliding again as there is no outlook for Iran to pull itself out of a serious economic crisis.
There have been government reports in recent days of runaway inflation, especially in food prices, making an already difficult situation even worse for ordinary Iranians.
Some reports in Iranian media say uncertainty in Iran’s foreign political and economic relations have played a major role in recent days to drag the national currency lower. The European Union has offered Iran a trade mechanism to avoid U.S. sanctions, but Iran has failed to adopt financial laws demanded by an international watchdog, the Financial Action Task Force.
ISNA news website has said that another reason for the rise of dollar is the approaching Iranian new year in mid-March, which increases demand for imports and travel.
Authorities have arrested more than 150 currency dealers in a bid to intimidate speculators and to show the public they are proactive.