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Iran says currency market volatility over

Iran’s top banker says calm has returned to the country’s currency market after a turmoil of multiple weeks that shot the rates of foreign currencies through the ceiling.

According to Press TV, Valiollah Seif, the Governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), told reporters on Wednesday that the current calm in the currency market was a result of a series of measures the most important of which he said was preventing “unlawful activities in the currency market”.

Seif specifically named a police crackdown on dollar dealers as well as the closure of unauthorized currency exchange shops as instances of measures that had brought stability to the market.

Iran’s media reported on January 24 that police in capital Tehran had shut down several currency exchange shops and arrested a number of money changers suspected of being behind a recent turmoil in exchange rates.

They intervened after the plunge of the Iranian Rial which has dropped to around 45,000 against the US dollar from 37,700 in mid-2017, Tasnim news agency reported.

Commercial bankers have linked the Rial’s slide partly to seasonal demand for dollars, which rises around the end of the Persian year when many Iranians travel abroad.

Others say US President Donald Trump’s hostile rhetoric, including his recent threat to scrap a landmark nuclear deal with Iran, had played a role.

However, Seif emphasized in his comments made after a cabinet meeting that currency speculators had the highest contribution to the creation of chaos in the market.

He said the CBI had issued instructions for exchange shops that were meant to prevent speculating on currencies but emphasized that those instructions had been ignored.

The CBI chief said the prevailing calm in the market was set to stay, stressing that speculators would no longer be given any chance to create a new turmoil.