Iranian currency slides to historic low as EU threatens ‘very tough sanctions package’
The new round of sanctions against the Islamic Republic will be implemented just days after the execution of two protesters
By News Desk - December 12 2022

(Photo credit: Essam al-Sudani/Reuters)

The Iranian rial fell to a record low against the US dollar in the black market on 11 December, as traders in Tehran were exchanging the rial at around 370,000 to the dollar.

However, the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) on Monday updated the official exchange rate, pinning it at 42,000 rials per US dollar.

Similar to other nations in West Asia, Iran’s official exchange rate is used for the import of some essential products, while black market prices dictate the exchange rate for regular Iranians.

Over the past several years, the Islamic Republic has become the target of a “maximum pressure” sanctions campaign from the west. The economic hostilities have been made worse in recent months, in the wake of a government crackdown on protests and violent riots following the death of Mahsa Amini.

As part of this hybrid warfare, on 12 December, EU foreign ministers met to discuss further sanctions on both Russia and Iran.

“We are going to approve a very tough package of sanctions [on Iran],” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said ahead of the meeting.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, meanwhile, said the new round of punitive measures “are targeting in particular those who are responsible for the executions, the violence against innocent people … These are especially the Revolutionary Guards but also those who – with forced videos – try to intimidate people or punish them.”

Earlier in the day, the Iranian judiciary revealed that Majidreza Rahnavard, convicted of killing two members of the security forces, was executed in an unidentified public location in Mashhad over the weekend.

Iran executed the first detainee linked with the street violence, a 23-year-old man named Mohsen Shekari, last Thursday for allegedly attacking and wounding a member of the Basij with a machete in central Tehran.

According to judiciary spokesman Masoud Setayeshi, who spoke on state-run TV on Saturday, anyone who uses a “cold or warm weapon with the intent of harming the life, possessions or family of people or to terrorize them” could be convicted of ‘moharebeh’ – or “waging war” – which carries the death penalty.

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