The Iranian currency plunged against the US dollar as the country continues to deal with the economic impact of US sanctions and the coronavirus.
According to foreign exchange shops and websites, the rial in the free market on Saturday fell as high as 188,000 against the dollar.
The currency traded at around 150,000 as the country saw its first case of Covid-19 in February. From 2015, when the Islamic Republic accepted the curtailment of its nuclear program in exchange for sanction relief, the riot has fallen by more than 500% in value.
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The real value of foreign exchange is “definitely lower” than in recent weeks, and the Central Bank of Iran is trying to restore stability in the market, partly by releasing frozen billions of dollars in foreign assets, said the governor of the Central Bank, Abdolnaser Hemmati, in a statement Friday.
Iran has accused US President Donald Trump of blocking the country’s application for a $5 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund to support its economy and health sector. Iran is the hardest hit nation in the Middle East by the pandemic, with 9,500 dead so far in more than 200,000 positive cases.