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Iranian Currency Plunges To New Lows Against Dollar As Rohani Denounces 'Psychological Warfare'


The value of one U.S. dollar is now reportedly worth more than 20),000 rials on the street market. (file photo)

The Iranian currency plunged to new depths against the U.S. dollar on June 23, as the country continues to wrestle against the economic effects of U.S. sanctions, the coronavirus, and low oil prices.

The value of one U.S. dollar rose as high as 205,000 rials on the street market, up from 193,400 rials three days earlier, according to the foreign exchange site Bonbast.com.

The official rate, cited by the central bank website, is 42,000.

The Iranian currency has plummeted against the dollar since Iran and world powers signed a nuclear deal in 2015.

U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal in 2018 and reimposed crushing sanctions that sent the economy into a tailspin and fueled inflation.

The latest fall comes four days after the UN atomic watchdog urged Tehran to stop denying its inspectors access to two suspected former nuclear sites.

The coronavirus pandemic and falling oil prices have contributed to the bleak economic outlook.

However, President Hassan Rohani on June 23 sought to downplay the slump in the rial, saying it was "temporary and has no fundamental economic reason," according to state television.

"Psychological warfare against Iran as well as the creation of an unrealistic anxiety among people, are the main causes of the recent fluctuations in the foreign exchange market," Rohani said.

Iran has been the Middle East’s hardest-hit nation by the epidemic with more than 209,000 positive cases so far.

The country on June 23 reported 121 new coronavirus deaths, its highest daily toll in over two months, bringing the overall virus death toll to over 9,800.

With reporting by AFP and Reuters
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