Iranian central banker sees stable rial despite pressure from US

Bloomberg | : Iran has adequate currency supplies to cover trade, and the rial has stabilized after “a heavy attack” from the U.S.-led economic sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic, the head of the country’s central bank said.

Iranians need to adjust their spending habits and “take seriously” sustained efforts by the U.S. to destabilize the economy, while Iran has to confront “very high” levels of corruption that are exacerbated by exploitative currency trading practices, Abdolnaser Hemmati, the head of the Central Bank of Iran said in an interview with Iranian state television.

The rial has lost almost 60 percent of its value since February of last year. For the past month, the dollar has been trading between 110,000 and 120,000 rials on the open, unregulated market, showing the currency has regained some value after hitting 170,000 rials in September.

Hemmati said inflation is now under “total control” despite the pressure from President Donald Trump’s decision last year to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions on Iran. The sanctions are part of his administration’s strategy of countering Iranian influence in the Middle East.

Trump has called the nuclear accord too weak and said he wants to force Iran to give up its nuclear ambitions and what he calls its support for terrorism in the Middle East by choking off its oil revenue.