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Iran Police Chief: Seditionists plot to create economic instability foiled

Source: Mehr News Agency, Tehran

Iran has managed to prevent the opposition's recent attempts aimed at creating instability in the domestic foreign exchange market, National Police Chief Ismail Ahmadi Moqaddam said on Tuesday.

People gathering to get foreign currency at an exchange office in Tehran

"The economic sedition has started. In the new round of sedition, the U.S. Treasury officials encourage various countries (in the region) and put them under pressure (not to supply Iranian merchants with foreign currencies)," Ahmadi Moqaddam said.

The Iran-based opposition groups also tried to provoke a wave of panic buying of foreign currencies to destabilize the market, he said. However, their plot was foiled by the central bank's unlimited distribution of foreign currency, the police official explained.

Ahmadi Moqaddam did not elaborate on the role of police in curbing the recent chaos in the domestic foreign exchange market.

The shortage of foreign currencies in the domestic market put psychological pressure on the public, who rushed to buy these currencies. The increase in demand raised the value of the U.S. dollar against the national currency (rial) by as much as 15 percent.

Iran's central bank was forced to step in and injected the market with foreign currencies to curb the sharp rise in forex and managed to return the market to a relative calm.

According to various reports, UAE banks recently refused to provide Iranian businessmen with the foreign currencies on the pretext that the financial transactions with Iran are banned under the recently-imposed UN sanction on Iran. Dubai is one of the main sources through which Iranian businessmen managed to get around the sanctions.

The UAE bank's move placed the domestic market under enormous pressure of the businessmen's demand for foreign currency.

People gathering to get foreign currency at an exchange office in Tehran

Police and some administration officials say the opposition has adopted new tactics to oppose the Islamic system, such as provoking the economic unrest in the country.

The gold market in Iran also recently experienced instability as some local gold dealers went on strike to protest the enforcement of the value-added tax (VAT), a move which drew Judiciary and police officials' reaction.

On October 6, Tehran Prosecutor General Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi said the Judiciary will deal firmly with those who seek to create instability in the markets by hoarding goods and staging strikes.

Earlier, Ahmadi Moqaddam said that the opposition plans to foment economic unrest by taking advantage of the government's plan to implement subsidy reforms.

"Following the implementation of the economic reforms, seditionists may seek to close the markets and stage strikes. But police forces will defend the government and will firmly deal with those who seek to complement the enemies' economic pressure," he said.

The Iranian government plans to eliminate the subsidies on fuel, energy, and certain goods over the course of five years. The implementation of the subsidy reform plan is scheduled to begin in the second half of the Iranian calendar month of Mehr (September 23 to October 22).

... Payvand News - 10/13/10 ... --

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