The rial, the fiat currency of the Islamic Republic of Iran, traded at its lowest ever value to the U.S. dollar on Sunday. Economic fallout from the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and the Russo–Ukrainian war is causing continuing hardship in the Middle Eastern country.

The rial was recorded as trading at 332,000 to the U.S. dollar, up 4,500 from the day before, setting a new record for the lowest recorded value of the Iranian currency. Altogether, the Iranian currency’s value has fallen by 4.4 percent since the beginning of the month.

The new bout of inflation is accompanied by protests by bazaar merchants and shopkeepers, who flooded Amin junction in Tehran Sunday afternooon to express disapproval of the regime’s economic policies and their consequences. Such protests have persistently sprung up within Iran under the current economic hardships, despite persecution from the state and sporadically violent crackdowns by the regime’s police.

Iranian officials say the country’s accelerating inflation is largely a consequence of U.S. sanctions, which were resumed in 2018 when former President Donald Trump withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, better known as the “Iran Nuclear Deal,” negotiated by former President Barack Obama in 2015.

While President Joe Biden initiated talks to restore the Iran Nuclear Deal, these negotiations have stalled for months. Whereas Obama was able to negotiate with the ostensibly moderate government led by Hassan Rouhani, Biden must interface with new Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, a hardliner less favorable to the terms of the 2015 deal than his predecessor, even as the Iranian economy suffers from the diplomatic tensions.

Adding further to economic hardships in Iran are food shortages resulting from Russia’s war with Ukraine, which has disrupted the flow of grains from the two Eastern European countries to Iranian markets. Iranian imports from Russia totalled $1.8 billion in the first ten months of the Iranian calendar year 1400, which loosely coincides with the Gregorian calendar year 2021. However, with Russia also suffering under Western sanctions, Russian authorities have imposed restrictions on food exports in order to maintain local food security, exacerbating food scarcity in Iran.

The rial’s inflation record was complemented by a visit from Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, as the regimes of Tehran and Caracas attempt to forge deeper connections, rooted in mutual hostility to the United States. The leaders of the two countries signed a 20-year cooperation agreement on Saturday. Like Iran, Venezuela has suffered in recent years from massive inflation and economic hardships, which both countries blame on sanctions from the United States.

Source » theepochtimes