Iran’s currency fell to a record low against the U.S. dollar on Saturday, with the dollar selling for 447,000 rials compared to 430,500 the day before, Al Arabiya English reported.
The rial has lost 29% of its value since the nationwide Iranian protests began in mid-September The protests arose following the death of a 22-year-old Kurdish-Iranian woman, Mahsa Amini, while in custody of “morality police” for not wearing her hijab according to the strict laws of the Iranian Islamic Republic.
The governor of Iran’s central bank, Mohammad-Reza Farzin, blamed the fall of the Iranian rial on “psychological operations” carried out to destabilize the country.
“Today, the central bank faces no restrictions in terms of foreign currency and gold resources and reserves, and media deceit and psychological operations are the main factors behind the fluctuation in the free exchange rate,” said Farzin, according to Al Arabiya.
The economic website Ecoiran similarly claimed that the fall of the rial could be blamed on a “global consensus” against Iran.
“Increasing political pressures, such as placing the IRGC [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps] on a list of terrorist organizations and imposing restrictions on Iran-linked ships and oil tankers … are factors pointing to a global consensus against Iran, [which might affect] the dollar’s rate in Tehran,” said Ecoiran, according to Al Arabiya.
The deeper fall of the rial comes as the European Union is expected to add further sanctions against Iran on Monday. The expected sanctions follow the European Parliament on Wednesday calling on E.U. member states to designate Iran’s IRGC a terrorist organization.
“We will adopt the fourth package of sanctions against Iran on Monday, and we believe we should already start working on the fifth one to list IRGC as a terrorist organization,” an unnamed E.U. diplomat told Voice of America on Thursday.