Thursday, February 15, 2018

Iran’s police step in to contain foreign currency debacle

From Al-Monitor:
After two months of fluctuations in the foreign exchange market, with the US dollar rate breaking all records in Iran, the police have stepped in to prevent the further devaluation of the rial on the open market.

Over the past six months or so, the dollar has jumped from 39,000 rials to around 49,000 rials.
According to Tasnim News Agency, the police force and the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) initiated a joint operation Feb. 14 to control the foreign exchange market.

Gen. Hossein Rahimi, Tehran’s chief of police, said Feb. 14, “Following the operation, which began this morning, 10 money changers were closed down and 16 money changers were given a warning. So far, 90 middlemen have been arrested.”

He said these events occurred after “joint groups of police forces and Central Bank experts went to the exchange market to study the licenses of money changers, buyers and sellers of foreign currencies.”

Rahimi said the operation had been successful and the dollar rate had dropped by 1,000 rials.
While fluctuations in the foreign exchange market persist, parliament members are starting to protest the Hassan Rouhani administration's and the CBI’s management of the situation.

Mohammad Reza Pourebrahimi, the chairman of parliament’s economic commission, said in parliament Feb. 14, “In recent weeks, due to mismanagement of the foreign exchange market, our national currency’s value has decreased by 25%, which has a negative effect on attracting foreign investment and also has inflationary effects.”...MORE