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Prices Soar in Iran amid Stalled Nuclear Talks

Prices Soar in Iran amid Stalled Nuclear Talks

Sunday, 17 April, 2022 - 07:00
A worker at a fish store in Tehran is pictured in February. (EPA)

Prices in Iran have soared in wake of the stalled nuclear talks in Vienna.

Speaking Wednesday at a cabinet meeting, President Ebrahim Raisi demanded regulators to look into the recent rise in prices and identify the reasons.

He urged the concerned ministers to address the crisis.

The Foreign Ministry had on Monday confirmed reports that some of Iranian assets, frozen by US sanctions, would be released soon. The announcement did little to ease market fluctuations.

IRNA had said that $7 billion in frozen funds will be released by South Korea. It added that a regional official was placing the finishing touches to the mechanism that would release the funds.

On Wednesday, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said a preliminary deal had been reached with a foreign bank over the funds.

A foreign delegation had visited Tehran on Tuesday to follow up on the agreement. It held talks with the foreign and economy ministries, as well as officials from the central bank.

US State Department spokesperson Ned Price denied on Thursday the reports over the deal.

South Korea was quick to deny that it was sending any officials to visit Iran to address the issue.

In a column on Friday, Hossein Shariatmadari, editor-in-chief of Kayhan newspaper, said Iran must close the Strait of Hormuz to South Korean vessels until Seoul releases the $7 billion frozen funds.

He said countries that abide by American law and impose sanction on Iran must not be exempt from the "heavy consequences of their ugly actions."

The claims over the release of the funds were interpreted as an attempt to ease the new rise in prices of goods in Iran.

The rise in prices made headlines across the country.

One newspaper said the issue has become the government's priority, wondering why the president has been unable to curb the rise.

The government mouthpiece, Iran, said inflation will drop in the coming months. It added that the reform of the monetary policy and the hike in prices are on the government's agenda.

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