Foreign exchange trading suspended in Iran’s market

Foreign exchange trading has been suspended in Iran’s open market due to gold and dollar price uncertainty, Mohammad Kashti-Aray head of Iran’s Gold and Jewellery Union told Islamic Consultative Assembly News Agency (ICANA). 

In an interview with ICANA, affiliated to the Iran Parliament, Mohammad Kashti-Aray also rejected the view that dealers are responsible for the current currency price jumping.

While rapid fluctuations and volatility in Iran’s foreign exchange market made it closed, the government is actually silent on the issue of currency crisis and has not announced a policy to deal with it.

Iranian media have criticized the government silence. Hossein Shariatmadari editor-in-chief of Keyhan newspaper denounced the silence of the government economic officials, criticizing them for giving the control of foreign currency market to “known mafia.”

Moreover, Maryam Haj Noroozi Economic Secretary of Fars News Agency asked in a note about the government’s silence on the currency crisis, “Does the silence mean that the government agrees with the liberalization of exchange rate? Or it shows the confusion and frustration of the economic decision-makers about this vital case?”

Of course, most of the government economic officials continued to insist that the currency trading center, which is supposed to be funded by dollars earned with Iran’s oil exports, would eventually meet demand for hard currency and thus strengthen the rial.

“The exchange center is operating and once the next phase of the plan is implemented, the price of currency will drop,” said Gholamreza Mesbahi-Moghaddam, who heads parliament’s planning and budget committee.

Despite the economic officials’ optimism, some economic activists and members of Parliament are not hoping on the effectiveness of this solution.