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Iran's central bank, acting on the eve of U.S. sanctions, scrapped most currency controls introduced this year in an effort to halt a plunge in the rial that has stirred protests against the government of President Hassan Rouhani. Under the measures, the central bank will allow the market to determine the rate of foreign-exchange transactions except the imports of essential goods and drugs, Governor Abdolnaser Hemmati told state television Sunday night. Licensed currency houses whose trading had been halted will be allowed to resume operations from Tuesday, he said.Earlier this year, the central bank said it would unify the exchange rate at 42,000 rials to the dollar in an attempt to oust unregulated trading.The president has instructed Hemmati to work on preserving Iran's foreign-currency reserves while looking for "new tactics and approaches" to counter U.S. attempts to disrupt Iran's banking relations with the world.
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