0838 GMT January 19, 2019
The Iranian Judiciary said on Monday that 45 people have been arrested on charges of disrupting the foreign currency, gold coin, and automobile markets in the country in recent months as the country prepares to face a reimposition of US sanctions.
The Judiciary’s spokesman Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei added that people with lesser charges have been released on bail, IRNA reported.
On Sunday, Ahmad Araqchi, who was a vice governor at the Central Bank of Iran in charge of forex, was arrested along with several other unnamed individuals, including a government clerk and four currency brokers, IRIB quoted Ejei as saying.
Araqchi was reportedly fired by the new governor of the Central Bank on Saturday, apparently over his handling of the currency crisis.
Rouhani sacked the governor of the Central Bank, Valiollah Seif, last week, and replaced him with Abdolnasser Hemati, the former head of the Central Insurance of Iran.
The rial has lost about half of its value since April because of heavy demand for dollars among Iranians who fear the effects of the US sanctions.
The unofficial rate for the rial fell to a record 119,000 last week and stood at 98,500 on Sunday night.