Iran’s currency sank further on Monday, with the Rouhani Government convening an emergency meeting to discuss measures to halt the slide.
The rial broke the 60,000:1 mark v. the US dollar yesterday, a fall of about 20% in a week from an already-historic low. Many exchange offices suspended trading.
Official bank exchanges continued to sell dollars at 49,000:1, with long lines of people trying to buy small amounts of foreign currency.
The rial dropped below its all-time low of about 45,000:1 last month, distancing itself from the official rate of 33,000:1 set by the Government. The Central Bank intervened with an interest-rate rise to try and halt a slide to the symbolic mark of 50,000:1, and authorities threatened to detain speculation and unofficial currency traders.
After the emergency eeting, 1st Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri announced that the official rate will be raised to 42,000:1, hoping to maintain this in both official and open markets.
Jahangiri warned of punishment of any exchange office that sold dollars above the rate, saying that it will be considered fraud.
The new currrency crisis appears to have been spurred by threats of US withdrawal from the July 2015 nuclear agreement and imposition of widespread sanctions. However, it also reflects ongoing weakness in production, investment, and trade, with the unemployment rate rising, especially among youth.