Sept 8 (Reuters) – Iran gave permission to money exchange offices on Saturday to start importing foreign currency banknotes, state media reported, in an apparent attempt to stop the rial from plunging to a new low against the dollar.
The rial has been hit by a weak economy, financial difficulties at local banks and strong demand for safe-haven dollars among Iranians.
Many Iranians fear Washington’s pulling out of a 2015 nuclear deal and renewed U.S. sanctions will cut into Iran’s exports of oil and other goods, which would likely put further pressure on the rial.
Currency exchange offices will also be allowed to import gold, the head of the Iranian parliament’s economic committee, Mohammad Reza Pourebrahimi, said on Saturday, according to the Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA).
Imports of both gold and foreign currency by exchange offices were previously forbidden, Pourebrahimi said.
(Reporting by Babak Dehghanpisheh Editing by Helen Popper)