The Iranian parliament held a closed session on the record decline of the Iranian riyal against foreign currencies as the dollar continues its record-breaking high.
The parliament held an extraordinary session with Vice President Mohammad Mokhber, Economy Minister Ehsan Khandouzi, and Central Bank Governor Mohammadreza Farzin.
A spokesman for the parliament's presidency, Nizamuddin Mousavi, told reporters that the three officials' questioning came following the rise in the exchange rate and essential commodities.
He indicated that senior government economic officials explained the developments in the exchange market, adding that the lawmakers stressed the need to find solutions to the living conditions.
Mousavi noted that government officials recognized that the exchange rate fluctuations could harm the country's economy, noting that officials are proposing contradicting policies.
A member of the parliament's presidency, Alireza Salimi, told the Fars news agency that the Economy Minister informed lawmakers that the security forces arrested many currency manipulators whose aim was to disrupt the currency market.
Farzin told lawmakers that only the rates announced by the bank's new portal were "real."
According to Fars, lawmakers criticized the currency situation and called on the government to take serious measures to control fluctuations.
It quoted the deputies as saying that the governor has the necessary powers to facilitate measures, noting that if the government faced restrictions and legal obstacles, the parliament was ready to pass laws to help.
The parliamentarians said they were ready to cooperate with the government to improve the situation.
MP Mohammadreza Taj al-Dini reported that the Central Bank governor said the foreign currency rate is unrealistic, calling for a unified system for gold and currencies.
The government and the parliament agreed to hold joint sessions on the gold and currency market and the economic situation in the country, said Taj al-Dini, adding that the government can benefit from the parliament's advice to stabilize the economy.
The Minister of Economy briefed the parliamentarians on the currency market imbalances, adding that the security, intelligence, and judicial institutions would deal with currency manipulators.
Meanwhile, the local currency fell below the level of 500,000 riyals per the US dollar last Monday, as market participants saw no end to the sanctions.
On Saturday, the riyal plummeted to a new record low at 567,000 against the dollar, compared to the 539,200 recorded on Friday, according to Bonbast.com, which gathers live data from Iranian exchanges.
The US Commerce Department targeted Belarus, Iran, and others in its latest response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, imposing export controls and adding more targets to its target list.
Economists said the deadlock in nuclear negotiations, the exacerbation of Western-Iranian tensions, especially after the Ukrainian war, the suppression of recent protests, and the government's failure to improve the economic situation were among the reasons for the rise in the exchange rate.
Facing an inflation rate of about 50%, Iranians seeking safe havens for their savings have been buying dollars, other hard currencies, or gold, suggesting further headwinds for the rial.
Over the last six months, Iran's currency has slumped nearly 60% in value, according to Bonbast.com.
Iranian websites quoted Speaker Mohammad Ghalibaf as saying that the parliament and government need to coordinate to regulate the currency market.
In response, Central Bank Governor Abdul Nasser Hemmati implicitly criticized Ghalibaf's statements, wondering why it has taken so long to solve the issue if the parliament and the government agreed to regulate and stabilize the market in an hour-long meeting.
Hemmati, who lost the previous presidential elections, wondered if the economic team realized the impact of the high exchange rate on people's livelihoods.