– Authorities in Tehran detained nearly a hundred of foreign exchange traders in the official Iranian sources they are called currency traders or speculators, and freeze hundreds of Bank accounts for 200 trillion rials ($5.3 billion) in the biggest in six years of operation to combat currency speculation, writes the Financial Times.
The operation was carried out by the police of Tehran and the country’s Central Bank. Its purpose is to stop the sharp decline of the Rial, which has lost more than 10% of the cost due to the shortage of dollars.
As stated by Fars news Agency chief of the Metropolitan police, General Hussein Rahimi, after a month of surveillance in 10 minutes on the streets of Tehran, was arrested more than 90 people who illegally traded currencies. More than 10 exchange offices were closed, while 16 received an official warning.
The threat of new US sanctions against Iran are even more limited access to dollar liquidity in the Islamic Republic. A significant amount of dollars were imported to Iran through informal channels, through the United Arab Emirates.
Major international banks are in no hurry to do business with Iran, despite the lifting of international sanctions. The company of Iran often work with European or Asian banks of the second and third tier and largely depend on the intermediaries in the middle East countries, including UAE.
“We continue to carry dollars in bags as in the days of sanctions. Foreign exchange market – the first place where the onset of the crisis becomes apparent,” said FT Iranian analyst, who asked to remain anonymous.
According to Fars news Agency, 755 frozen Bank accounts belonging to currency traders and dealers.
A point of a currency exchange in Tehran sell to individuals not more than $1000 at a time.
“You can buy Euro or pounds for any amount, but not dollars”, – said one of the points.
The dollar on the black market have soared in recent days – on Wednesday, it was 48.3 thousand riyals compared to 37 054 official Rial/$1. Earlier this week, the dollar was worth on the black market more than 50 thousand rials, whereas in mid-September, its rate was about 35.6 thousand riyals.
The Central Bank of Iran since last year, gradually devalued the national currency to offset high inflation and to increase the competitiveness of export products. However, in recent months the decline has increased dramatically. The Central Bank in January warned of speculative players that don’t need to play against real, but he couldn’t manage to reverse the trend.