Rouhani Gov’t Denies Rumours It’s Behind Currency Hikes

The Iranian president’s chief of staff has rejected rumours that this week’s hike in the value of foreign currencies in Iranian markets was planned by the government as part of efforts to meet FATF guidelines, saying the government would not “play games” with people’s livelihood.

Speaking on the sidelines of a cabinet meeting earlier this week, Mahmoud Vaezi said the government itself has been hit hard by a plunge in the Iranian rial’s value.

“The rise of dollar’s rate would place [immense] pressure on the government and it would never play with interests of the country and people’s livelihood,” he said.

Vaezi said the government is doing its best to decrease the currency’s price, as it will lead to a decrease in general prices of goods and make life easier for the government.

“Those who make such statements have political motives and are pursuing other goals,” he said.

Vaezi said the government keeps up advocating for the four bills proposed by the administration to get Iran out of the blacklist of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) using arguments, as the Expediency Council is making its mind on a parliamentary bill on Iran’s accession to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.

The US dollar crossed a threshold in Tehran this week, as its price increased to 135,000 rials, up from over 120,000 rials last week.

The hike came after Iran’s Expediency Council postponed for two weeks voting on the bill, which is one of four parliamentary bills required for Iran to get out of the anti-money laundering body’s blacklist.

Two of them have so far gone into effect and the fate of the last one, a bill amending Iran’s Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) law, is also in limbo.

The government is a staunch supporter of the FATF accession, believing the measure would smooth the path for Iran’s increased financial transactions with the world and allow the country’s financial sector to function more easily in the international economy.

Iran’s accession to the G7-created FATF has faced problems over concerns among some officials that the move could endanger Iran’s national security and economic interests.

   
   

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