Ramin Mehmanparast

Iran’s Foreign Ministry announced today that sanctions against Iran will only hurt the countries that impose them, insisting that the steep decline in the value of Iran’s currency is in no way related to recent sanctions.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast commented on the U.S. sanctions against Iran’s Central Bank, saying: “These sanctions have not yet been put into force and that will take months. What is happening to Iran in the currency market has its roots elsewhere.”

Yesterday, the U.S. dollar was trading in Iran at the unprecedented rate of 1,800 toumans, which was 200 toumans higher than a day earlier. There are predictions that the U.S. dollar will soon buy 2,000 toumans.

The sudden increase came after the announcement of international sanctions against Iran’s Central Bank.

Some analysts say the increase in the rate of foreign exchange is due to worries about the international sanctions, while others say it stems from the government’s interference in the currency and gold markets.

Mehmanparast said: “Various issues might be involved in the fluctuation of the foreign exchange rates, such as the management of cash flow in the country. We’ve witnessed that, in the past, cash flow was sometimes concentrated in property and at other times in gold and foreign currencies, and Iran has come up with effective policies to control inflation and stop rising property prices.”

He added that the fluctuations in the foreign exchange market would be resolved soon and they will not be allowed to affect the country’s economic stability.

Similar promises were made today by the head of Iran’s Central Bank. Mahmoud Bahmani told ISNA that the rise in the exchange rate was a “psychological effect” and that in the coming weeks, the country will see a drop in the price of the U.S. dollar.

He added that Iran’s position as a top exporter of oil and gas cannot be eliminated from the world market without putting pressure on the very countries that might impose such sanctions.