Amid high inflation and the declining value of Iran’s currency, an influential ayatollah says buying gold and foreign currencies as investment is a sin.
Ayatollah Ahmad Alamolhoda, father-in-law of President Ebrahim Raisi and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s representative in the religious city of Mashhad, is known for his fundamentalist views, who is famous for banning cultural activities in the city.
Alamolhoda said in his Friday sermon April 21 that if people convert their capital to foreign currencies and gold it is sin “equal to hoarding and profiteering,” which is considered an offence according to Sharia.
Iran’s currency, the rial, has halved in value since mid-2022, with inflation above 50 percent and the middle class fast becoming impoverished. The US dollar has risen from 260,000 rials to around 520,000 since August.
People have been trying to invest in foreign currencies, gold and those with more resources in real estate to preserve their savings.
Alamolhoda also referred to women refusing to wear headscarves, which has angered religious hardliners. He said the Islamic Republic faces two big challenges: Economic crisis and a cultural crisis. He insisted however that these two problems are not related to one another.
Ordinary people who have been protesting against the regime, see the economic crisis as the result of government’s foreign policy and mismanagement and the enforcement of hijab as its undue interference in their private lives.
The regime that has refused to compromise over its nuclear program with the West, is determined to use repression to pacify the population.