Iranian rial hits record low at 138,000 to dollar: Bonbast website

FILE PHOTO: A vendor inspects Iranian rials at a currency exchange shop in Baghdad, Iraq August 8, 2018. REUTERS/Khalid Al-Mousily/File Photo

GENEVA (Reuters) - The Iranian rial hit a record low against the U.S. dollar on the unofficial market on Tuesday, a foreign exchange website reported, amid a deterioration in the economic situation and the reimposition of sanctions by the United States.

The dollar was being offered for as much as 138,000 rials, according to website which tracks the unofficial market.

The rial also hit a record low on Monday, trading for approximately 128,000 to the dollar, according to Bonbast. The official rate, cited by the central bank website, is 42,000.

The currency has been volatile for months because of a weak economy, financial difficulties at local banks and heavy demand for dollars among Iranians who fear the pullout of Washington from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal and renewed U.S. sanctions could shrink Iran’s exports of oil and other goods.

A set of U.S. sanctions targeting Iran’s oil industry is due to take effect in November.

Last week, Iran’s parliament sacked the minister of economic affairs and finance, the latest in a continuing shakeup of top economic personnel. In early August Iranian lawmakers voted out the minister of labor and in July President Hassan Rouhani replaced the head of the central bank.

Protests linked to the tough economic situation erupted last December, spreading to more than 80 cities and towns and resulting in 25 deaths.

Sporadic protests, led by truck drivers, farmers and merchants in Tehran’s bazaar, have continued since then and have occasionally resulted in violent confrontations with security forces.

Reporting by Babak Dehghanpisheh, Editing by William Maclean and Alison Williams