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Iran plans currency boost as sanctions loom

Bloomberg TEHRAN (Bloomberg) — Iran plans to implement a new financial rescue package on Monday to try and halt the rial’s decline, coinciding with the re-imposition of severe U.S. sanctions on the oil-rich state’s economy after U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal.

The decision follows a week of sporadic protests against Iran’s political and religious establishment as concerns over the economy mount.

Iran is struggling to quell anger over rising prices while seeking to assure the public that it can successfully counter the economic crisis triggered by Trump’s decision to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear accord.

At the same time, its fighting to stem the rial’s decline, which has slumped to record lows against the U.S. dollar since the start of the year amid protests.

Iran’s judiciary, legislature and government on Saturday approved plans by the Central Bank of Iran to strictly limit access to official, fixed currency rates to essential imports, the semi-official Iranian Students’ News Agency reported.

Also approved were measures to tighten the process of allocating foreign currency to businesses and crack down on corrupt practices and currency manipulation, it said.

U.S. sanctions will ban purchases of dollar banknotes by Iran, and prevent the government from trading gold and other precious metals.

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