Iran’s central bank chief resigns over differences with Ahmadinejad

Mazaheri initiated last month a three-month currency reform process with the aim of knocking off three zeroes from the national currency (Rial). Upon his order, the central bank printed new 50 and 100 Rials, replacing the previous 500,000 (518 dollars) and 1 million Rial (1,036 dollars) bank cheques. Although the central bank reassured on state television that the new bank cheques could be used as de facto bank notes, several institutions, including banks, have hesitated to accept them, reflecting the government’s dispute with Iran’s Central Bank in the currency reform process. Due to an inflation rate of more than 26 per cent – in some cases even up to 50 per cent – the current bank notes, which range from 500 Rials (about 5 cents) to 50,000 Rials (5.18 dollars) – no longer correspond to the prices and people have had to take a lot of cash with them for even simple shopping. The coins are de facto worthless.


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