Iran’s hard-hit currency dropped to an all-time low against the US dollar on Saturday as markets opened for business amid runaway inflation and economic chaos.
The rial approached 330,000 to one US dollar, falling by more than 25 percent since the end of March and tenfold since 2017, when it traded at around 33,000.
The drop came as Iran was censured by a resolution passed in an overwhelming vote at the International Atomic Energy Agency board meeting on Wednesday. The 35-nation board of governors criticized Tehran for not cooperating with the UN nuclear watchdog.
Iran’s nuclear talks with the United States and its European allies to restore the 2015 agreement known as JCPOA came to a halt in early March, prompting pessimism over the prospects of lifting US sanctions and providing a lifeline to Iran’s economy.
Food prices have soared since early May when the government lifted import subsidies for essential goods to save foreign currency. Economists in Tehran have warned of triple-digit inflation in the coming months.
Anti-government Protests took place in May as prices soared and the political environment remains highly volatile.
US oil export and banking sanctions imposed against Iran in 2018 by the former US administration triggered a serious economic crisis that has gotten worse amid government inefficiency.
The rial was trading at 70 against the US dollar in 1978, before the Islamic revolution. The currency has fallen close to 5,000-fold in 44 years.