21 March 2018
AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook
Geographic areas

  • > Africa
  • > Central Asia
  • > Europe
  • > Middle East
  •    - Bahrain
  •    - Iran
  •    - Iraq
  •    - Israel
  •    - Jordan
  •    - Kuwait
  •    - Lebanon
  •    - Oman
  •    - Palestine
  •    - Qatar
  •    - Saudi Arabia
  •    - Syria
  •    - Turkey
  •    - United Arab Emirates
  •    - Yemen
  • > Nord America
  • > North Asia
  • > South Asia
  • > South East Asia
  • > South West Asia
  • > Sud America
  • > East Asia

  • » 07/10/2013, 00.00


    Iranian currency collapse mainly affects health care

    The rial drops following the latest round of economic sanctions. The public health sector is the most affected, with drug prices rising 76 per cent. For many Iranians, medicine is no longer affordable.

    Tehran (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Tehran's attempts to counter the collapse of its national currency are having serious implications for the national health sector. The Iranian central bank, which until last week subsidised exchange rates applied to basic necessities, like food and medicines, de facto lifted them last Saturday. As a result, the Iranian currency has appreciated, making it nigh impossible for most Iranians to buy many imported drugs.

    When the central bank opened on Monday, the new exchange rate was 102 per cent higher than on Saturday, 24,777 vs 12,260 rials, Tehran-based Etemaad newspaper reported yesterday.

    Iran's parliament approved the removal of the old subsidised exchange rate on the condition that the government compensate patients and the Health Ministry, the country's biggest importer of medicines, for the rise in prices. However, the details of the compensation plan have yet to be worked out.

    "A national health insurance [scheme] would be the best option to solve the medicine subsidies problem," Mohammad Hossein Qorbani, a member of the Iranian parliament's healthcare committee, told the Fararu news website. "But the Health Ministry and Social Security Organisation could not execute the necessary means."

    Qorbani suggested that private insurance companies could play a role in the government's plans to compensate patients, but some reports indicate that several insurance companies have refused to refund fully policyholders for medicines that jumped by 40 to 90 per cent.

    The economic sanctions imposed by the European Union and the United States have increased financial pressure on the Islamic Republic with the aim of dissuading Tehran from pursuing its nuclear programme.

    The latest round of sanctions, the ninth of the Obama administration, kicked in on 1 July targeting Iran's national currency.

    White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said that the new sanctions target Iran's currency "by authorising the imposition of sanctions on foreign financial institutions that knowingly conduct or facilitate significant transactions for the purchase or sale of the Iranian rial, or that maintain significant accounts outside Iran denominated in the Iranian rial."

    If sanctions were not enough, Iran has had to cope with unprecedented inflation, with its currency losing two-thirds of its value in just two years, going 16,000 rials per US dollar in early 2012, to 36,000 on 30 April of this year.

    "The idea is to cause depreciation of the rial and make it unusable in international commerce," said David Cohen, the Treasury Department's undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence.

    e-mail this to a friend Printable version

    See also

    02/10/2012 IRAN
    Rial loses almost 17 per cent in a single day
    The government tries to counter the problem by setting up a foreign exchange centre funded with oil revenues where dollars will be sold at a rate 2 per cent cheaper than the street rate. In a year, official foreign reserves dropped from US$ 106 billion to 50-70 billion, whilst inflation is running at 25 per cent a year.

    04/10/2012 IRAN
    The population of Tehran protests against Ahmadinejad and the collapse of the rial
    Clashes with the police have taken place in the city's commercial districts and in front of the headquarters of the central bank. The population accuses the president of having no idea how to deal with the monetary crisis. In less than a week, the rial has lost almost 40% of its value. For Iranians meat has become a luxury.

    08/10/2012 IRAN
    Government and people struggling with the rial's crisis
    Tehran has imposed a fixed dollar rate, but transactions are on hold. Prices are rising on a daily basis, sometimes even 100 per cent. Iran's parliament has criticised Ahmadinejad's populist policies. Businessmen and middle class families are eager to buy foreign exchange.

    03/01/2018 13:40:00 IRAN
    Tens of thousands of Iranians take to streets to defend government. More victims and arrests

    Huge turnout for marches against the USA and in support of the leadership. The death toll rises to 23 dead and 450 arrests. Khamenei: External "enemies" who want to foment chaos and target institutions. Zarif: Security and stability depend on the Iranians, free to "protest and vote". Poverty and unemployment are the fundamental reasons for the demonstrations. 

    04/01/2018 09:31:00 IRAN
    Tehran: Pasdaran declare the 'end of sedition’, but tensions remain

    Gen. Ali Jafari applauds the "security preparedness and people's vigilance" that led to the defeat of enemies. And he accuses monarchists, anti-revolutionaries and "enemy" forces outside Iran. But in some cities, outbreaks of tension remain. Trump continues to blow on the fire of the uprising and promises support "at the right time".

    Editor's choices

    Syrian Trappist nuns say Western powers and factional media fuel war propaganda

    In a written appeal, the religious systematically take apart the version of the conflict touted by governments, NGOs and international news organizations. In Ghouta east, jihadists attack the capital and use civilians as human shields. The Syrian government and people have a duty to defend themselves from external attacks. The conflict alone has undermined the coexistence between Christians and Muslims in the country.

    Xinjiang, crosses, domes, statues destroyed: the new 'Sinicized' Cultural Revolution

    Bernardo Cervellera

    Crosses removed from the domes and the tympanum of Yining Church as well as external decorations and crosses, and the Way of the Cross within the church. The same happened at the churches of Manas and Hutubi. The Cross represents "a foreign religious infiltration ". Prayer services forbidden even in private houses under the threat of arrests and re-education. Children and young people forbidden to enter churches. Religious revival frightens the Party.


    AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.


    News feed

    Canale RSSRSS channel 


    IRAN 2016 Banner

    2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®