Iranian currency hits new low against dollar amid turmoil
Iran’s currency fell to its lowest value against the dollar on Tuesday after weeks of nationwide unrest rocked the country. A stalemate in talks to revive Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers also weighed heavily on the rial.
Tehran traders traded the rial at 338,000 to the dollar, down from 332,200 on Monday. Iran’s currency traded at 32,000 rials to the dollar at the time of the 2015 nuclear deal that lifted international sanctions in exchange for tough curbs on Tehran’s nuclear program.
The rial’s new low comes amid protests first sparked by the September 16 death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in the custody of the country’s vice squad. She was detained for allegedly violating the country’s strict dress code for women.
The protests swept the country, turning into one of the boldest challenges to ruling clerics since the 1979 revolution. Security forces sought to stifle dissent, killing at least 270 people and arresting some 14 000, according to rights groups.
Protesters targeted the headscarf, or hijab, imposed by the Iranian state for women. But the sick state of the Iranian economy is also a major force pushing Iranians into the streets. Soaring prices, high unemployment and corruption fueled the unrest.
The Iran nuclear deal has been on the brink of collapse since talks broke down months ago. After the protests broke out, the United States and the European Union imposed additional sanctions on Iran for its brutal treatment of protesters and its decision to send hundreds of drones to Russia for use in its war in Ukraine. .
The White House has faced increasing pressure to scupper the deal. US special envoy to Iran Robert Malley said on Monday that the administration “offers no apologies” for its refusal to declare the deal dead.
Iran’s economy has deteriorated dramatically since former President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the nuclear deal in 2018 and reinstated suffocating sanctions on Iran’s crucial oil and banking sectors.