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Iran Focus

London, 13 Mar - The Tehran Stock Exchange was set to close the current fiscal year at the end of the month with a gain of approximately 25% in local index terms. In February, there was a record plunge in the commercial currency market which is used as an alternative to popular investment. The rate plummeted to 50,000 rial per $1 USD and officials were obliged to shut down scores of dealers.

In an attempt to divert remaining liquidity, the monetary authority issued high-interest bonds. Its own activity was criticised in the banking world for its lack of consistency with regards to intervention that resulted in months of difficulties in accessing foreign exchange.

Iran Focus

London, 02 Mar - Earlier this week, the Financial Action Task Force met in Paris. One of the items on the agenda was to discuss whether Iran’s banking system is clean. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is the global standard setting body for anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT).

For more than two decades, the United States Treasury Department has attempted to trace how banks in Iran are being used by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to fund militias and terror groups.

The FATF called on Iran to address the “remaining action items” in full.

Iran Focus

London, 16 Feb - In spite of ongoing nationwide protests against dramatically rising costs and falling living conditions, the Iranian Regime has still seen fit to raise the prices of water, electricity and gas in their budget for the New Year, which begins on March 21 according to the Persian calendar.

The decision to increase prices in line with Iran's Sixth Development Plan, which states that water and electricity costs could rise by between 20% and 30 % a year, comes after a long debate in the Regime’s Parliament about how best to fill the budget deficit.

The Iranian House of Representatives voted in favour of this proposal from the Ministry of Energy on Wednesday, following its approval from the Council of Ministers.

Iran Focus

London, 20 Feb - The Iranian rial fell to a record low last week and scared Iranians began to withdraw their money from banks and buy foreign currency. President Hassan Rouhani attempted to persuade the people that this was a “fake market”, but in response, the rial fell even more.

The government attempted to pass the blame onto currency traders, when it sent out its police and security services, last Wednesday, to beat traders with batons before arresting 90 of them and shutting down their shops.

But the international markets aren’t fragile enough to be affected by a handful of money traders in Iran. This action belies that Iran is yet again choosing to ignore the actual problem in favour of suppressing its own people.

Iran Focus

London, 1 Dec - A Turkish-Iranian gold trader has told a US federal court how he ran a $1bn international money laundering scheme to help the Iranian Regime avoid US sanctions.

Reza Zarrab, who pleaded guilty, told the New York court, on Wednesday November 29, that this figure involved more than $50m in bribes for then-Turkish finance minister Mehmet Zafer Caglayan.

Zarrab, 34, is cooperating with US prosecutors in the trial of Mehmet Hakan Atilla, a Turkish Halkbank deputy chief executive officer, who pleaded not guilty.

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