Iranian currency hits new bottom amid anti-government protests – National

Iran’s currency plunged to a new record low on Sunday, plunged to $600,000 for the first time, as the fallout of nationwide anti-government protests and the collapse of the 2015 nuclear deal continued to roil the economy.

Iranians have been queuing in long lines in front of money changers lately, hoping to acquire their increasingly scarce dollars. Many have seen their savings evaporate as their local currency depreciates. Inflation hit 53.4% ​​in January, up from 41.4% two years ago, according to the Iranian Statistics Center.

The dire economic situation has fueled widespread anger at the government, but many Iranians are focused on putting food on the table rather than engaging in risky political activities amid a crackdown on dissent. are compelled to

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Iran’s currency was trading at 32,000 rials to the dollar when it signed a nuclear deal with world powers in 2015. The agreement lifted international sanctions in exchange for strict restrictions and monitoring of its nuclear activities.

The deal fell apart when then-President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the United States and reinstated devastating sanctions. According to the United Nations nuclear watchdog, Iran has responded by increasing its enrichment of uranium and is now enough to have “several” nuclear weapons should it choose to develop them.

Although Iran claims its nuclear program is entirely peaceful, experts say the country had a nuclear weapons program running until 2003 and could quickly develop nuclear weapons should it decide to develop them. We are developing breakout capabilities to enable manufacturing.

Click to play video: 'Iran's supreme leader pardons 'tens of thousands' of prisoners involved in mass protests: state media'

Iran supreme leader pardons ‘tens of thousands’ of prisoners involved in mass protests: state media

The Biden administration has backed a return to the 2015 deal, but negotiations stalled last year and appear to have stalled. Iran has further angered the West by providing Russia with the armed drones it used to invade Ukraine.

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Meanwhile, Iran has witnessed a wave of anti-government protests following the September death of a 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian woman detained by moral police on suspicion of violating Iran’s strict Islamic dress code. there is

The protests quickly escalated into calls for the overthrow of Iran’s ruling Shiite cleric, a major challenge to four decades of Shiite rule. Iran has cast it as an extension of sanctions and blamed the unrest on foreign powers, without providing any evidence.

The Trump administration hoped that maximum sanctions would force Iran to make significant concessions on its nuclear activities, ballistic missile program and military engagement with Middle Eastern countries, but that has yet to materialize.

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© 2023 The Canadian Press

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