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US Sanctions Batter Iran's Currency

Ordinary Iranians scrambling to exchange sliding rial
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 3, 2012 4:53 AM CST
US Sanctions Batter Iran's Currency
A money changer puts US dollars in a plastic bag in downtown Tehran.   (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

(Newser) – The latest US sanctions against Iran have left Iranians scrambling for American dollars. President Obama has signed a bill placing Iran's central bank under sanctions, a move that sent Iran's currency tumbling 12% to a record low against the dollar. The rial has now lost 35% of its value since September. Those with large amounts of the currency are desperate to convert them into currencies or goods likely to hold their value, the Washington Post reports.

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Housing prices have risen 20% in recent weeks, and many private companies say they are struggling. “I am selling my motorcycle in order to invest it in dollars,” said a computer engineer in Tehran. “My dream is once to buy a BMW car, but now our leaders are even destroying that." Iran's central bank—which claimed the sanctions made America the laughingstock of the world—held an emergency meeting yesterday on how to deal with the currency's plunge. (Read more sanctions stories.)

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