A former governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) has been sentenced to 10 years in prison, along with several others, the Judiciary announced on Saturday.
Valiollah Seif headed the CBI from 2013 to 2018, during the first six years of Hassan Rouhani’s presidency but was accused of improper foreign currency transactions together with one his deputies, Ahmad Araghchi, nephew of Iran’s former chief nuclear negotiator, Abbas Araghchi.
The spokesman of the notorious Judiciary, which combines both prosecutorial and court functions, said that Ahmad Araghchi was sentenced to 8 years. The charges were improperly selling160 million US dollars and 20 million euros on the open market.
Another person charged in the case is Salar Aghakhani, a foreign currency dealer for Ansar Bank of the Revolutionary Guard Cooperatives Foundation.
Ahmad Araghchi in his defense in 2018 had said that the sale of hard currencies took place for boosting the value of the Iranian currency, rial, in coordination with the Intelligence Ministry and based on a request by the Supreme National Security Council and orders by president Rouhani.
Iran’s central bank routinely intervenes in the volatile foreign currency market, usually to defend the ever falling value of the rial.