Iran’s currency rial continues its rapid decline, hitting a new record low to the US dollar today. IRNA, the country’s official news agency, reported that the market exchange rate was at 16,400 rials to the dollar in mid-day trading [IRNA, 2 January]. The state broadcasting system later reported that rial was trading at 16,800 [IRIB, 2 January].
The new rate represents a 7% decline in value since Saturday, when President Obama signed the legislation imposing sanctions on financial institutions dealing with the Central Bank of Iran (CBI). The sanctions are to go into effect within the next six months.
The rial has lost nearly 55% of its value against the US dollar since January 2011, when it was traded at 10,850 to the dollar.
UPDATE: The semiofficial Fars News Agency reported that rial has hit an all-time low of 17,000 per dollar on Monday, or nearly 60% of its value in one year [Fars News Agency, 2 January].
UPDATE: Reports from Iran indicate that the rial has hit a low of 17,800.
UPDATE (Tuesday 3 January): Rial regained some of the lost value today and was trading at 16,000 per dollar. On Monday, rial started trading at the beginning of the day at an all-time low of 16,400, and quickly lost further value ending the day at 17,800.