Ahmad Tavakoli

Iranian MP Ahmad Tavakoli says the Iranian currency has fallen in value by 55 percent in the past year, and he blamed the Ahmadinejad administration’s economic policies for exacerbating the economic problems caused by international sanctions.

The Mehr News Agency reports that the Member of the Parliament’s budget committee announced during its monthly meeting at the Iranian Chamber of Commerce that the foreign currency exchange rate must become one regulated rate and the subsidized government rate must be scrapped.

Currently, the government offers a reduced rate of exchange for the dollar for a limited set of business transactions, while the dollar trades on the open market for at least 10,000 rials over that rate.

Tavakoli added that Iranian consumers need to be supported through the introduction of a series of coupons and the rationing of staple goods.

Tavaloki stressed that while 15 to 20 percent of the rise in the cost of transactions can be attributed to the international sanctions, the rest of the economic fluctuations have arisen due to the government’s economic policies.

He confirmed, however, that sanctions have made access to foreign currency revenues more difficult and more costly.

Tavakoli referred to the five-fold rise in cash liquidity in Iran over the past six years, saying it is one of the main reasons for the fluctuations in the currency market.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in his latest interviews on state television, claims Parliament is trying to downplay the effects of the international sanctions on the economy.

The head of Parliament, Ali Larijani, recently said that the administration “should not hide behind the sanctions.”

The Eu and U.S. sanctions imposed on Iran since Last July have reduced Iran’s oil revenues by 50 percent. Experts report that the administration depends on oil revenues for 80 percent of its budget.