Iran’s currency has weakened to a record low against the U.S. dollar in unofficial trading for a second consecutive day, in a sign of growing domestic concern about U.S. economic sanctions on the country.
The Bonbast.com website, which tracks Iran’s unofficial exchange rates, showed a new low of 140,000 rials, or 14,000 tomans, to the dollar Tuesday. The rial later recovered slightly to 138,500 to the dollar. On Monday, Bonbast.com had displayed the rial at a record low of 128,000 to the dollar.
Other Iranian currency market tracking platforms also recorded the rial at the 140,000-to-the-dollar level Tuesday. They included the Tahlilgaran Twitter account, which has 55,000 followers.
Iran’s official exchange rate, set by the Central Bank, has stood at 42,000 to the dollar since April. Iranian authorities initially warned they would punish currency exchange houses trading in dollars above that rate. But, the Central Bank partially lifted its ban on unofficial exchange rates last month to try to ease panic buying of the U.S. currency.
Iranians’ demand for dollars has soared since President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers in May and vowed to re-impose U.S. economic sanctions on the country. The move triggered fears that U.S. sanctions would reduce Iranian exports of oil and other goods, and make imports more expensive.
Washington reimposed a first set of economic sanctions on Iran last month and is scheduled to enact a second and tougher set of sanctions in November, in a bid to pressure Tehran to give up what the U.S. says is its nuclear weapons ambitions. Iran denies seeking nuclear weapons.
This article originated in VOA’s Persian Service.