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Ahmadinejad Blames West, Opposition For Currency Plunge


A woman pays with a 20,000-rial banknote in a grocery store in Tehran.
Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has blamed the West and the opposition for the steep plunge in the value of the country's currency.

The rial has lost some 80 percent of its value since the start of 2012 as Western sanctions imposed against Iran over its controversial nuclear program hit oil exports generating foreign currency.

At a news conference on October 2 in Tehran, Ahmadinejad said that Iran would not give in to international pressure and end its nuclear activities, despite economic problems created by Western sanctions.

He said the sanctions had managed to "diminish a little" oil exports but said the accelerated slide in the rial's value was the result of a "psychological war on the exchange market."

Ahmadinejad critics have also blamed the currency crisis on the policies of his government.

Based on reporting by AFP, AP, and dpa