EghtesadOnline: The currency market in Tehran stabilized further on Sunday with the USD exchange rate dropping below the support level of 140,000 rials. The greenback was traded for 138,000 rials on the open market to post the fourth straight decline. The Euro changed hands for 160,000 rials -- down from 162,400 at the outset of trade.
The benchmark Bhar Azadi gold coin fetched 43 million rials ($311) down from the previous day's 44 million rials. The new bearish climate for foreign exchange rates come on the heels of some relatively positive news about economic and political prospects despite the US sanctions slated for Nov.4 approach.
New powers granted to the Central Bank of Iran by the Economic Coordination Council of the Heads of the Three Government Branches last month to intervene in the forex market and CBI's decision to allow currency exchange houses to sell hard currency up to €5,000 to anyone wanting to buy, are said to be among positive measures lifting the market.
Positive signs from the Guardian Council that it is likely to approve the remaining bills related to Iran's Action Plan with the inter-governmental Financial Action Task Force is said to be another factor behind bearish currency rates, according to Financial Tribune.
Lawmakers on October 7 passed a landmark bill that allows Iran to join the UN convention that aims to cut terror financing. The measure, which was fiercely opposed by hardline groups, was passed by 143 votes to 120 and was the last piece of legislation sent by the Rouhani administration to bring the country in line with global standards on countering the financing of terrorism and money laundering.
The judiciary has also intensified its crackdown on illegal activities and "disruptions" is the currency market and shut more than a dozen foreign exchange rate websites in recent days.
On Sunday, judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Ejei said 196 people suspected of undermining the economy and currency market in Tehran had been arrested.
The senior cleric warned those active in illegal currency trade that they would be prosecuted and face the full force of the law.
The rial hit a series of record lows and blows against the US dollar on the unofficial market in the past six months, with the exchange rate reaching as high as 190,000 rials late last month.
US President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from an international agreement to curb Iran's nuclear program resulted in new sanctions imposed on Iran’s financial, auto, aviation and metals sectors. The US State Department has set Nov. 4 as a deadline for Iranian oil buyers to completely cut their purchases to avoid sanctions.
President Hassan Rouhani allocated a significant portion of his address on the occasion of the new academic year at the University of Tehran on Sunday to economic issues, saying that he's not interested in "speech therapy" in solving the county's problems, but believed in instilling hope in society.
Rouhani said after the 1979 Islamic Revolution up until now, there has not been a more hostile US administration toward Iran than the current White House occupant.
He added that his government remains committed to providing basic goods at subsidized rates.