Iran’s central bank claims highest foreign currency reserves on record

The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) says it currently has the highest foreign currency reserves on record, saying it will use them to stabilize the market.

CBI Governor Ali Salehabadi said on Monday that the bank has the largest foreign exchange reserve in the country’s history, “therefore, we have no problem balancing supply and demand on the Change market”.

His remarks came as the bank reportedly began pumping cash dollars into the market stop the current freefall of the Iranian rial as it hit record highs against major currencies, as nuclear talks with the US remain in limbo, prices are rising and popular protests continue.

Iran has increased its oil exports despite US sanctions since last year and says it has been able to repatriate revenue. However, it is not known why the rial drops and the economic crisis continues if it has large foreign currency reserves.

The rial has been falling since mid-March, when year-long multilateral talks in Vienna to revive the 2015 nuclear deal known as the JCPOA came to an abrupt halt. Washington and Tehran were apparently too far apart on some issues, including Iran’s demand that its Revolutionary Guards be removed from the US list of terrorist organizations.

Since 2018, when Washington withdrew from the 2015 six-power nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions, Iran’s economic crisis has deepened, with inflation reaching 50% and the rial losing more than 75% of its value.