BEIRUT

Regional

Iranian currency gains on change in presidency

TEHRAN: The Iranian rial has strengthened by more than 15 percent against the dollar since the victory of moderate Hassan Rouhani who was elected president more than a week ago, reports said Sunday. The Iranian currency was trading at under 30,000 to the dollar Sunday morning compared to 35,000 a week ago, media and dealers said.

The rial had lost more than two-thirds of its value against the dollar since early 2012 when the United States and the European Union announced new sanctions against Iran’s oil exports and access to the global banking system.

The sanctions have been blamed by the government for most of the problems in Iran, where oil exports plummeted by 40 percent in 2012 while inflation is officially running at more than 30 percent.

Rouhani has promised more transparency in talks with world powers on Iran’s controversial nuclear program that could help ease the sanctions.

“Many Iranians had bought dollars and were stashing them at home but now they are selling because they fear that the prospect of a dialogue with the United States and a more subtle diplomacy on the nuclear front could strengthen the rial,” a currency dealer said on condition of anonymity.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on June 24, 2013, on page 5.

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