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Iran’s currency in free fall as American sanctions loom

July 29, 2018

FILE - In this April 4, 2015 file photo, Iranian and U.S. banknotes are on display at a currency exchange shop in downtown Tehran, Iran. Iran's currency is continuing its downward spiral as increased American sanctions loom, hitting a new low on the thriving black market exchange. The Iranian rial fell to 112,000 to the dollar on Sunday, July 29, 2018, from 98,000 to $1 on Saturday. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, File)

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s currency is continuing its downward spiral as increased American sanctions loom, hitting a new low on the thriving black market exchange.

The Iranian rial fell to 112,000 to the dollar on Sunday, from 98,000 to $1 on Saturday. The government-set exchange rate was 44,070 to the dollar, compared to 35,186 on Jan. 1.

The Iranian rial has been declining steadily for years but the drop has accelerated in recent months after the U.S. decision to pull out of the nuclear deal with Iran in May and announcement of increased sanctions beginning next month.

The government last week replaced the country’s central bank governor Valiollah Seif, whose policies have also been blamed for the rial’s fall, and eased regulations on bringing foreign currencies into the country to combat black market trading.

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