Iran’s Central Bank has announced that anyone in possession of foreign currency without a bank receipt will be put under arrest beginning Sunday January 15.
Ebrahim Darvishi, the supervising deputy of the Central Bank, told Fars news agency that according to a new directive, foreign currencies without a bank receipt will be considered as contraband, and violators will be subjected to imprisonment and a fine of double the amount in their possession.
He added that security forces will arrest anyone on Ferdowsi Street and other locations engaged in the sale of foreign currencies.
He said any exchange of foreign currencies is now prohibited unless it is made through banks and legal foreign exchange bureaus, adding that foreign currencies will only be sold at the rate determined by the Central Bank.
The rial has been in a free fall since the Central Bank was put under sanctions by the United States and so far has not achieved a balance.
The dollar has traded at as high as 18,000 rials in the past two weeks, compared to just over 10,000 rials at the same time last year.
The Iranian government has been making every effort to control the price of the dollar, while at the same time denying that the collapse of the foreign currency market has any connection with new international sanctions.