News ID: 239479
Published: 0433 GMT February 26, 2019

Iran forex reserves 'in best condition': CBI

Iran forex reserves 'in best condition': CBI

Iran's foreign exchange reserves have increased in the face of US sanctions which aim to deplete them, stated Central Bank of Iran Governor Abdoldnaser Hemmati.

"Foreign exchange reserves of the country are in the best condition. Not only have they not been lost but they have also rapidly grown," he said on Tuesday at an annual meeting of the CBI in Tehran, Press TV reported.

Iran's currency has dipped over the past year, driven in part by a return of US sanctions after President Donald Trump decided to abandon an international nuclear agreement with Tehran.

Hemmati described the situation as hard but said measures taken so far had forestalled a further deterioration where people's life savings have been wiped out and prices have shot through the roof.

"We were able to take appropriate measures in a difficult situation and to prevent the deterioration of the situation," he said, adding, "We are ready to take even better decisions.

"Seven months ago, when I assumed office at the central bank, the dollar's rate was 116,000 rials. But after the implementation of two rounds of the harshest sanctions in August and November, our foresight and resistance has landed us where the free market rate has grown only 10-12 percent," Hemmati said.

"Trump had said that he would destroy Iran's money and cripple the Iranian economy, but despite all the pressure, we were able to create relative stability so that liquidity did not grow over the past few months," he added.

Hemmati said the central bank was at the forefront of a confrontation with the enemy whose 'psychological war' was having an impact on the foreign exchange market from time to time.

"The currency rates, however, have returned (to normal levels) because we have managed to balance economic flows," he said.

US assistant secretary for terrorist financing at the Treasury Marshall Billingslea in September touched on the value of the Iranian rial, boasting that Washington's efforts "are already generating results".

"We have never seen a precipitous drop like this in the history of our sanctions programs on Iran. The Iranian rial is now trading somewhere around 140,000 to the dollar. It's lost more than two-thirds of its value," he told a congressional hearing.

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