Iran on Saturday approved the general outlines of fresh forex policies in an attempt to contain a dramatic drop in the value of its rial versus the US dollar.
The Supreme Council of Economic Coordination chaired by President Hassan Rouhani discussed the policies. Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani and Judiciary Chief Sadeq Larijani attended the meeting, IRNA reported.
Under the new policies, essential goods will be imported on the basis of the official rate of the US dollar announced by the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) which currently hovers around 44,000 rials vs. the dollar.
The Iranian government will discuss the details of the policies in today’s meeting and the CBI will officially announce them on Monday after the cabinet’s ratification.
The council also called for tough measures against those who have “undermined the country’s economic stability” and have created economic problems via “rent-seeking”.
The rial nosedived to a record low amid growing concerns of renewed US sanctions, due to take force on Monday. Last week, the Iranian currency plunged to over 110,000 against the dollar on the unofficial market.
The rial has lost half its value against the greenback in just four months, having broken through the 50,000-mark for the first time in March.
The government attempted to fix the rate at 42,000 in April, and threatened to crack down on black market traders. But the trade continued amid public worries about an economic crisis.
US President Donald Trump walked out of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and ordered his administration to reimpose “maximum” sanctions by August 6.
The sanctions will apply to Iran’s purchase of US dollars, its trade in gold and precious metals and its dealings with metals, coal and industrial-related software.
The Trump administration has told countries they must halt imports of Iranian oil from November 4 or face US financial measures.
Iran’s oil exports could fall by as much as two-thirds by this year due to sanctions. However, the remaining signatories to the JCPOA have vowed to make efforts to help Iran continue its oil exports.