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Iran to Slash Off Three Zeros from Currency

Source: Fars News Agency, Tehran

Iran's finance and economy officials on Saturday reiterated the country's plan for lopping three zeros off the national currency, Rial, in a bid to accelerate and optimize trade and transactions.

Iran's Economy Minister Shamseddin Hosseini said the country "will remove three zeros from the national currency this year once the relevant prerequisites are met".

He further pointed to Iran's financial regulatory policies and oversight of its Central Bank, which were approved earlier within a package, and said, "There are initiatives in the package that project lower expenses, stability and performance improvement in the country's banking and monetary sectors."

Based on such policies, the country could focus on removing the extra zeros, the minister continued.

The Iranian minister noted that establishing stability in the prices would serve as the first step to achieve the objective.

Also, Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced last year that the plan to lop three zeros off Iran's national currency had been finalized.

"We are supposed to remove zeros from the currency... as for some reasons the rial has depreciated during recent years," Ahmadinejad said in January, 2010.

"We have to restore its true real value to the one existing in law."

Ahmadinejad did not say when the changes would happen and gave no other details.

A 10,000 rial note is currently worth about one US dollar.

Iran's Central Bank chief Mahmoud Bahmani told reporters on the same day last year that he expected "one dollar to become even more expensive during the next year."

In September, 2009, Bahmani had announced plans to devaluate the currency by three decimal places but later said the idea had been shelved for further consideration.

The Iranian President directed the Central Bank of Iran in 2007 to mull over the concept of devaluating the national currency.

... Payvand News - 04/02/11 ... --

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