Iran’s rial plunged against the U.S. dollar in open-market trade on Monday, taking its loss in value over the past week to more than a quarter in further evidence that Western sanctions are shattering the economy.
The freefall suggests sanctions imposed over Iran’s nuclear program are undermining its ability to earn foreign exchange and that its reserves of hard currency may be running low.
The rial traded at 34,200 per dollar according to currency-tracking website Mazanex, down from about 29,720 on Sunday. It was trading at 24,600 last Monday, according to website Mesghal.
There is no clear sign that economic pain in Iran has reached levels that would prompt the government to compromise on its nuclear program, which Western nations say aims to develop an atomic bomb but which Tehran insists is peaceful.
However, the currency crisis is exposing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to criticism from enemies in parliament.