Khaleej Times, Sunday, Mar 12, 2023 | Sha'ban 20, 1444
Iran's rial climbs after accord to restore Saudi ties
The Iranian rial recouped some of its recent losses on Saturday, gaining more
than 6 per cent amid prospects of diminished regional tensions after Iran and
regional rival Saudi Arabia agreed to resume diplomatic ties.
Iran and Saudi Arabia agreed on Friday to re-establish relations after years of
hostility that had threatened stability and security in the Gulf and helped fuel
conflicts in the Middle East from Yemen to Syria.
On Saturday, the rial was trading at 447,000 against the US dollar on the
unofficial free market, compared with 477,000 on Friday, according to foreign
exchange site Bonbast.com. The website bazar360.com gave the rate as 446,500.
The rial, which had fallen to an historic low of 601,500 per dollar in late
February, has rebounded in March as tensions over Iran's nuclear programme
appeared to ease with a visit to Tehran by the head of the United Nations
nuclear watchdog IAEA.
Talks between Iran and world powers to curb Tehran's nuclear programme in
exchange for the lifting of sanctions have been stalled since September,
worsening Iran's economic prospects.
With annual inflation running at more than 50 per cent, Iranians have been
trying to protect the value of their savings by buying foreign currency or gold.
The rial has lost nearly 30 per cent of its value since nationwide protests
began in September following the death in police custody of a young Kurdish
The unrest has posed one of the biggest challenges in Iran since the 1979
Foreign exchange traders say the rial's depreciation stems partly from the
unrest, as well as Iran's increased isolation in the face of Western sanctions
over its human rights record and Russia's use of Iranian-made drones in Ukraine.
The reimposition of US sanctions in 2018 by then President Donald Trump has
harmed Iran's economy by limiting Tehran's oil exports and access to foreign
Tensions with the United States persist and Washington on March 8 imposed
sanctions on Iranian officials and companies over accusations of serious human