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Iran's rial plunges to new low against the dollar

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A currency exchange bureau worker, counts US dollars, in downtown Tehran, Iran. - AP Photo.

TEHRAN: Iran's currency, the rial, plunged to a record low against the dollar Wednesday, trading at 15,800 to the greenback on the street market, to the concern of officials.

The depreciation marked an acceleration of a long fall in the value of the rial as Western sanctions bit into Iran's economy. The United States and Europe are expected to impose further measures in coming weeks.

The slide undercut avowed Iranian policy to keep the rial steady against the dollar.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad put the movement down to “rumours” started by profiteers and sought to reassure the public that the economy was “stable and calm,” in a speech broadcast on state television.

“We are not experiencing any particular problems,” he said.

On Tuesday, Ahmadinejad said “mischief from outside and inside” the country was affecting gold and currency prices, according to Iranian media.

Iran's parliament on Wednesday summoned the economy minister, central bank chief and foreign ministry officials to explain the current economic situation and ways they planned to weather the sanctions.

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