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Iran central bank denies governor change as forex prices keep rising

Central Bank of Iran Governor Ali Salehabadi

The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) has dismissed rumors about an imminent change in the bank’s leadership by saying that Ali Salehabadi will stay in his job as CBI governor despite rising prices in the country’s foreign currency market.  

A Thursday statement by the CBI said Salehabadi still has the full confidence of the CBI’s general assembly and members of the Iranian Cabinet who have the power to dismiss him.

The statement criticized as “unprofessional” a Monday report by Ham-Mihan newspaper which claimed that Salehabadi had cancelled his meetings in CBI headquarters for the previous three days.

The report cited Salehabadi’s failure to control rising foreign currency prices and an increasing liquidity that has exacerbated inflation as reasons for his potential removal from the top banking job in Iran.

The CBI statement, however, dismissed the claims and said that Salehabadi had had a busy weekend and had attended numerous meetings in the bank and in other government departments.

The statement comes as foreign currency prices have risen by more than a fifth in less than a month in Iran. The US dollar rose to nearly 385,000 against the Iranian rial on Thursday, up from 320,000 reported a month ago.

The CBI and the government have in the past blamed foreign sanctions and speculative trade for the rise in currency rates.

Salehabadi on Wednesday named a new deputy CBI governor for foreign exchange and appointed the former holder of the post as his advisor.

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