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Iran’s rial dips on speculation over Vienna talks

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 currency rial hits a two-year low amid growing speculation about nuclear deal revival talks.

Iran’s rials has hit a two-year low against major international currencies amid growing speculative fervor in the market about how a new round of talks between the country and world powers on reviving a 2015 nuclear deal will proceed in Vienna in the coming weeks.

Currency monitoring websites and local news outlets said in reports on Saturday that the rial had closed above 300,000 against the US dollar in the unofficial market in Tehran.

That is a two-year low for a currency which had recouped some of its losses over the spring on hopes a previous round of talks in Vienna could yield results.

The semi-official Tasnim news agency wrote that the dollar’s rise in the Iranian market was apparently a “sensational reaction” to unconfirmed negative reports coming out of Vienna where talks adjourned for a week on Friday.

It said, however, that even a failure of the Vienna talks would have no tangible impact on the situation of Iran’s foreign currency reserves as well as the country’s ability to sell crude.

Iran has been struggling economically over the past three years both because of US sanctions that were imposed in 2018 after Washington pulled out of Iran nuclear deal and also because the country has been grappling with one of largest outbreaks of the coronavirus in the Middle East.

Despite the sanctions, Iran has posted consecutive quarters of economic growth beginning in the second half of 2020 while crude sales have surged this year amid a continued rise in global demand and Iran’s ability to better market and sell its oil to customers in East Asia.

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