Iran moves to strike 4 zeroes from its battered currency; rial could be renamed toman

If passed by Parliament and approved by lawmakers, Iran's Central Bank would in effect devalue the Islamic Republic's sanctions-battered currency, the rial, and rename it toman.
If passed by Parliament and approved by lawmakers, Iran's Central Bank would in effect devalue the Islamic Republic's sanctions-battered currency, the rial, and rename it toman.PHOTO: AP

TEHERAN (AP) - Iran's President sent a Bill to Parliament on Wednesday (Aug 21) that would cut four zeroes from the value of the Islamic Republic's sanctions-battered currency, the rial, as tensions remain high between Teheran and Washington.

By sending the Bill to lawmakers, President Hassan Rouhani's government shows it is serious about an idea that has been discussed for some time in Iran, where people talk about monetary transactions in both rials and informally, but more commonly, in tomans. A toman is worth 10 rials (S$0.00033).

If passed by Parliament and approved by lawmakers, Iran's Central Bank would in effect devalue the rial and rename it toman.

The bank would have two years to create the new toman currency, returning to a currency name that has not been officially used since the 1930s.

Authorities have given no estimate for the cost of creating the new currency.

Iran's rial has been battered by increasing US sanctions on the country since President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of Teheran's nuclear deal with world powers over a year ago.

On Wednesday, the rial traded 116,500 to US$1. At the time of the 2015 nuclear deal, the rial traded 32,000 to the dollar.