Police in Iran has once again resorted to arrests and intimidation to control the fall of the national currency, the rial in the local exchange market.
Police officials on Wednesday announced the arrests of 42 money exchangers and closure of 20 currency exchange outlets in Tehran accusing them of manipulating the market. The police also summoned managers of 20 websites and social media apps and warned them about exchange rates.
The rial has fallen to more then 300,000 against the US dollar, as negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program in Vienna are stalled and the economic outlook for the country seems bleak. The rial has fallen nearly tenfold since the end of 2017, when it became likely that the United States would abandon the 2015 nuclear agreement and impose sanctions.
Iran’s police and courts have arrested and prosecuted tens of people since 2018 on charges of boosting the value of the dollar or the price of gold, while the fall of the rial is the result of Iran’s economic crisis.
Last week also the Intelligence Ministry arrested five people and closed 841 bank accounts it said were involved in “illegal” currency and futures trade.