The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) claims it currently enjoys the highest ever foreign currency reserves in cash, saying it will utilize it to stabilize the market.
CBI governor Ali Salehabadi said on Monday that the bank has the largest cash currency reserve in the history of the country, “therefore we have no problem in balancing supply and demand in the foreign exchange market.”
His remarks came as the bank has reportedly started injecting cash dollars into the market to stop the current freefall of the Iranian rial as it has hit record lows against major currencies, while nuclear talks with the United States remain in limbo, prices are rising and popular protests continue.
Iran has increased oil exports despite United States sanctions since last year and claims to have been able to repatriate the revenues. However, it is not clear why the rial is falling and the economic crisis continuing if it has large foreign currency reserves.
The rial has been sliding since mid-March when year-long multilateral talks in Vienna to revive the 2015 nuclear agreement known as the JCPOA came to an abrupt halt. Washington and Tehran apparently were too far apart on some issues, including Iran’s demand that its Revolutionary Guard should be removed from the US list of terrorist organizations.
Since 2018, when Washington withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal with six powers and reimposed sanctions, Iran's economic crisis has deepened with inflation rate reaching 50 percent and the rial losing over 75 percent of its value.