Iran will undertake a new measure to contain foreign-backed shocks against its economy with operationalizing the long-anticipated initiative of Integrated Currency Market by mid-August, in a bid to strengthen its economic system in the face of foreign interventions.
The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) announced in a statement on Saturday that the Integrated Currency Market will open as of August 12, concurrent with a major religious festival, adding that the exchange mechanism would lead to more transparency in foreign currencies rates.
It said the decision came after a meeting between CBI Governor Abdolnasser Hemmati and senior officials supervising the scheme.
Preparations for the launch of the market began earlier this year after the government ordered the CBI to formulate a system where major money exchangers, either official or unofficial, can buy their required currencies directly from the central bank.
The scheme seeks to influence the unofficial currency market by helping control the prices of major foreign currencies.
Chief banker Hemmati expressed hope on Saturday that the Integrated Currency Market could help stabilize the prices of foreign currencies in a realistic way.
On Friday, Hemmati boasted his country’s victory in thwarting foreign-backed economic conspiracies against Tehran, stressing that the plots to devaluate the national currency of rial have effectively failed.
He added that plots for a massive devaluation of Iran’s national currency have effectively failed as the rial keeps regaining some of its value despite growing economic pressure from the United States and a flare-up of tensions in the Persian Gulf over the past weeks.
He added that “enemies” failed to realize their objectives from imposing sanctions on Iran which was “as they had asserted to destroy the national currency as a prelude to overthrow the state”.
Hemmati’s comments on Instagram came amid reports that the rial had resumed its long-anticipated recovery against the US dollar on Thursday as it traded 118,000 against the greenback, a surge of around 13 percent compared to earlier in July when each dollar had been sold for 135,000 Iranian rials.
“Today, me and my colleagues in the CBI are proud that we have had a tiny share in the all-out resistance and victory of the Iranian people against this big plot (which came) in one of the most sensitive periods of the country’s history,” said Hemmati.
The official, however, admitted that US sanctions had caused difficulties for the Iranian households through the shocks they created in the markets and the increased inflation that followed.
Iran has been faced with some of the harshest sanctions ever imposed on a country after US President Donald Trump withdrew from a major international agreement on Tehran’s nuclear program in May last year.
The sanctions began in November and were toughened in May this year after Trump’s administration cancelled waivers granted to several major buyers of Iran’s oil.
Trump has stated repeatedly that sanctions would finally force the Iranians to bow, claiming that people in the country have had huge difficulties finding foods and medicine.
However, official data released by the government this week showed that consumer inflation had started to decline in the month ending July 22.
The surge of the Iranian rial and the declined inflation comes despite renewed military tensions in the Persian Gulf where Iran has refused to release a British tanker it seized last Friday. The incident, which Iran linked to the tanker's carelessness for maritime rules, came two weeks after Britain seized an Iranian supertanker in its overseas territory of Gibraltar.
On Thursday, the Statistical Center of Iran (SCI) reported a lowered month-on-month inflation rate.
The SCI said consumer inflation was 2.4 percent down at 48 percent in the month ending on July 22 compared to the previous month.
The SCI said Iranian households spent 48 percent more on consumer goods in the year ending July 22 compared to the previous 12-month period.
The figures were estimated using the overall Consumer Price Index (CPI) based on calculations for the Iranian calendar year ending in late March 2017. The data showed the CPI this summer was up 179.7 percent compared to the base year. It rose 40.4 percent compared to the last year and 2.96 percent higher than the month ending on June 22.
The increased inflation was felt more by rural households during the past year, said the SCI, although the data showed that urban areas recorded a higher CPI compared to the 12-month period ending in March two years ago.
That came after Iranian government introduced measures to control the market, including forcing exporters to bring the currencies earned from trading with foreign customers to an integrated market inside Iran. That helped shorten the gap between various currency prices in the market and encouraged the households to sell their currency savings.
Experts believe Iran is successfully emerging from the impacts of sanctions as the rial is recovering and the government has managed to control inflation and create more jobs over the past months.
They say that the failure of US sanctions against Iran also owes to the fact that they have not been fully observed by major international powers, including those who have signed the JCPOA.
Last Wednesday, Vice-Speaker of the Iranian Parliament Mohammad Javad Jamali Nobandegani announced that the legislative body has received 13 draft bills of plans to counter the US unilateral sanctions against the country.
Early in May, Governor of the Central Bank of Iran(CBI) Abdolnasser Hemmati announced six new tactics of the monetary body to counter the negative measures of the US unilateral sanctions against Tehran.
Late in April, Iranian First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri said that the plan by the administration of US President Donald Trump to reduce Iran's oil exports to zero is doomed to fail, because Americans ignore the country’s immense economic potentialities.