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US dollar on downward slope in Iran on reports about foreign funds

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iran’s rial is rebounding against US dollar on reports Washington allowed transactions on Iranian funds.

The US dollar has lost part of its value against the Iranian currency rial after unconfirmed reports suggested that Washington authorized transactions on Iranian funds in Iraq and other countries.

The dollar fell by nearly two percent in the Iranian market on Sunday to trade at 239,900 rials, according to a report by the official IRNA news agency.

The euro fell 2.25 percent against its late Saturday price to sell at 288,730 rials, said the same report.

Rial’s rebound came on the back of remarks by various sources showing that Iran had gained access to its blocked funds in Iraq, South Korea and Oman.

The funds are part of nearly $40 billion in money that various countries owe to Iran for imports of crude before the US imposed sanctions on Tehran in 2018 after pulling out of an international deal on Iran’s nuclear activity.

Seyyed Hamid Hosseini, a senior Iranian businessman involved in energy trade and a key exporter to Iraq, said on Sunday that unblocked funds in the three countries amount to $3 billion.

Speaking to the semi-official Fars news agency, Hosseini, who had first tweeted about the release of the funds on Friday, said that he had received information from “Lebanese, Iraqi and Western sources” confirming the release of the funds.

The IRNA report said the rial owed its recent rebound trend, which began over the weekend, to the news about the funds, as well as to indications from the Iranian government that a high-ranking legislative body in the country may finally ratify requirements demanded by the international anti-money laundering organization FATF.

“It is expected that the exchange market would calm and we would no longer witness a upward trend in the prices,” Ahmad Mojtahed, an economist and a former head of Iran’s Monetary and Banking Research Institute, was quoted as saying in the IRNA report.

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