Skip to main content

Iran’s central bank under pressure to print money, weaken rial

To cover the budget deficit, Iran’s lawmakers are seeking to force the central bank to print money. If they are successful, they will likely end up making life more difficult for average Iranians.
A money changer displays U.S. and Iranian banknotes at the Grand Bazaar in central Tehran October 7, 2015. To match Insight IRAN-BANKING/  REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi/TIMA/File Photo ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. - S1BETSJMVNAC

A disagreement between the Central Bank of Iran and factions of the government, backed by lawmakers, over profits from foreign exchange sales has now taken the form of a pending amendment to the country’s annual budget law. If passed by the Guardian Council, the amendment — which calls on the central bank to pay a significant sum to the government as tax – will increase money supply and exacerbate inflation. It could also negatively impact foreign exchange rates, ultimately hurting average Iranians the most.

Roughly a year ago, when drafting the annual budget law for the running Iranian fiscal year, which will end March 20, the rate of the US dollar was set at 35,000 rials. It drew fire from pundits, who said the rate had once again been unrealistically set. That proved true, especially since the government moved to “unify” the country’s dual foreign exchange rates and tried to fix the rate of the rial against the dollar at 42,000 rials.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.