June 23, 2020 / 10:27 AM / 15 days ago

Iran's Rouhani says national currency's fall is temporary - TV

DUBAI, June 23 (Reuters) - A further slump in Iran’s rial is “temporary”, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday after the currency sank to its lowest value in decades.

A U.S. dollar was offered for about 205,000 rials on Tuesday, up from 188,200 rials on Friday and 198,000 rials on early Monday, according to foreign exchange site Bonbast.com, which tracks the unofficial market.

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

“The shock created in the foreign exchange market is temporary and has no fundamental economic reason and balance must return to the exchange market,” Rouhani was quoted as saying by Iran’s state TV.

The latest fall comes four days after the U.N. nuclear watchdog urged Tehran to stop denying it access to two suspected former nuclear sites.

Iranian authorities have dismissed as “an exaggeration” the rial’s slump following the resolution, which has raised diplomatic pressure on Tehran.

“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,” said Rouhani.

In 2018, President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with six powers and reimposed sanctions on Tehran that mainly targeted its main source of revenue - its oil exports - as well as its financial sector.

Iranian authorities said last week that the country’s oil revenues have dropped to $8.9 billion in the year to March, from $119 billion in 2011, Iranian media reported.

Already strained by U.S. sanctions, Iran’s economy has further deteriorated during the coronavirus outbreak. Iran is one of the worst-affected countries in the Middle East with 209,970 infected cases and 9,863 deaths, according to Iran’s health ministry. (Writing by Parisa Hafezi Editing by Alexandra Hudson)

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