Iran temporarily bans import of some luxury goods -report
DUBAI (REUTERS) - Iran has temporarily banned the import of some "luxury goods" including foreign-made cars and mobile phones, a state-run newspaper said on Thursday, to save billions of dollars for essential products in the face of worsening sanctions.
Iran's oil exports, the lifeblood of its economy and the major source of revenue for the government, have dropped sharply over the past year because of Western sanctions imposed over Teheran's disputed nuclear programme.
This has caused a slide in Iran's rial currency, which has lost about two-thirds of its value against the dollar in the open market over the past 15 months as Iranians have scrambled to convert their savings into dollars and euros.
The government has responded by restricting Iranians' access to hard currency, rationing the dollars which it supplies to companies and individuals through the central bank, and setting up an official foreign exchange centre.