End Times and Current Events

General Category => Middle East => Topic started by: Psalm 51:17 on October 04, 2012, 04:23:45 pm

Title: Europe Weighs More Sanctions as Iranís Currency Plummets
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on October 04, 2012, 04:23:45 pm


The U.K., France and Germany are pressing for new sanctions to bring Iranís economy to its knees and curb its nuclear ambitions, according to several European diplomats, as rioting over the countryís tumbling currency suggests the existing sanctions are taking a toll.

In a confidential letter to the 27 EU member states, portions of which were provided to Bloomberg News, the foreign ministers of Europeís three largest economies criticized Iran for its lack of openness over its nuclear program and called for raising the cost to Iranís leaders of refusing to abandon what the U.S., Europe and Israel say is a covert nuclear weapons program. Iran says its program is solely for civilian energy and medical research.

ďSo far, Iran has not reacted positively to our proposal,Ē the British, French and German ministers wrote in their Sept. 20 letter, referring to a proposal for Iran to abandon medium-enriched uranium in exchange for aviation and energy incentives.

ďOn the contrary: Our concerns have once again increased,Ē the letter says, referring to an Aug. 30 report by the United Nationsí International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna that found Iran had increased its stockpiles of enriched uranium, which -- if diverted from safeguards and further enriched -- could be used to produce a weapon.


Title: Re: Europe Weighs More Sanctions as Iranís Currency Plummets
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on October 04, 2012, 04:28:54 pm


Iranian police clash with protesters over currency plunge

(Reuters) - Riot police clashed with demonstrators and arrested money changers in Tehran on Wednesday in disturbances over the collapse of the Iranian currency, which has lost 40 percent of its value against the dollar in a week, witnesses said.

Police fired tear gas to disperse the demonstrators, angered by the plunge in the value of the rial. Protesters denounced President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as a "traitor" whose policies had fuelled the crisis.

In a clampdown on the unofficial foreign currency market, a number of traders selling dollars were arrested after authorities ordered security forces to take action against those it sees as speculators.

The rial has hit record lows against the U.S. dollar almost daily as Western economic sanctions imposed over Iran's disputed nuclear programme have cut Iran's export earnings from oil, undermining the central bank's ability to support the currency.

Panicking Iranians have scrambled to buy hard currency, pushing down the rial whose increasing weakness is hurting living standards and threatening jobs.

"Everyone wants to buy dollars and it's clear there's a bit of a bank run," said a Western diplomat based in Tehran.

"Ahmadinejad's announcement of using police against exchangers and speculators didn't help at all. Now people are even more worried."

The protests are seen as posing a threat to Ahmadinejad rather than the government, which is expected to put a stop to the foreign exchange black market, pump in funds to stabilize the currency and prevent the protests from spreading.

Tehran's main bazaar, whose merchants played a major role in Iran's revolution in 1979, was closed on Wednesday. A shopkeeper who sells household goods told Reuters that currency chaos was preventing merchants from quoting accurate prices.

A computer dealer said he had halted sales because of the volatility in the currency market. "The same product can change price within an hour," he said by telephone.