JEDDAH: The Iranian rial has fallen to its lowest rate on record, with the currency now trading at over 150,000 to the US dollar. It recouped most of its losses on Wednesday on the unofficial market, with the economy facing pressure from the reimposition of US sanctions.
The dollar was being offered at 140,000 rials, compared to the record low of 150,000 rials earlier on Wednesday. The website bazar360.com quoted 139,000. Mesghal.online gave an exchange rate of 141,940. The currency had traded at about 138,000 rials on Tuesday, compared to approximately 128,000 on Monday.
Meanwhile, Iran is forgoing plans for now to transfer about €300 million ($347 million) in funds held in Germany to Iran after strong opposition from the US, two sources with knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday.
The funds are held at the Hamburg-based Europaeisch-Iranische Handelsbank (eihbank).
The US ambassador to Germany had been urging Berlin to stop Iran withdrawing large sums of cash from bank accounts in Germany to offset the effect of new US sanctions imposed after Washington withdrew from a 2015 nuclear deal.
“Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism. We must be vigilant,” Ambassador Richard Grenell said on Twitter on Wednesday in reaction to news that Iran was dropping its bid to move the money.
The development was earlier reported by the German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung and the broadcasters NDR and WDR.