Iran's oil-dependent economy was showing the strain of punishing Western sanctions on Tuesday, on the eve of a speech by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the UN General Assembly in New York.Iranian currency has lost more than half its value because of sanctions:
The Iranian currency dived around four percent close to an all-time low against the dollar, while thousands of workers publicly complained of unpaid wages, importers struggled to pay for goods, inflation climbed and travel agencies bemoaned a rapidly shrinking pool of travellers able to afford to go abroad.
Government initiatives to maintain the value of the rial and the volume of oil exports have failed, with both halved from their levels of a year ago. AFP
The Iranian rial tumbled 5 percent to an all-time low against the U.S. dollar on Tuesday, suggesting a fresh effort by the government to stabilise the currency may have backfired. The rial was trading at 26,500 to the U.S. dollar on the open market on Tuesday afternoon, according to Persian-language currency tracking website Mazanex, compared to a closing price of 25,200 rials on Monday. The Iranian currency has lost more than half its value in the past year because of U.S. and European sanctions against the country's banking sector and oil exports, aimed at forcing Tehran to give up its disputed nuclear programme. Iranians have rushed to informal money changers to convert their savings into hard currencies, accelerating the rial's slide. ReutersThe US has paved the way for new sanctions:
The U.S. government officially linked Iran's state oil company to the country's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps on Monday, a determination that enables Washington to apply new sanctions on foreign banks dealing with the company. ReutersAnd in Persian Gulf:
The U.S. has flooded the Persian Gulf with the largest armada ever gathered for a military exercise. More than 20 ships and participants from every continent except Antarctica are practicing a mission to keep Gulf waterways free from mines.
U.S. officials emphasize it is a defensive training mission, but analysts say it is clearly a warning to Iran, which has threatened to close the strategic Strait of Hormuz in case of an Israeli assault. The U.S. will keep its warships in the Gulf even after the exercise is over. ABC