My colleague Barbara Slavin reports:
Iran’s gyrating currency dropped again against the dollar Thursday as optimism over a swift resolution of Iran’s nuclear crisis receded.
With negotiators reporting a “difficult day” as they traded proposals on Wednesday in Baghdad, the rial hit 17,700 to the dollar on the unofficial market in Tehran – a quick and sharp devaluation from about 16,000 earlier in the week.
The gap between the official rate of 12,000 to the dollar and the unofficial rate has waxed and waned in accordance with Iranian perceptions of the crisis.
Iran’s main goal is to stave off even more economic sanctions due to come into effect July 1. But the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany are so far not offering to postpone those sanctions. They are insisting that Iran halt production of uranium enrichment to 20 percent U-235. In return, Iran has been offered fuel for a reactor that makes medical isotopes, safety upgrades to that reactor and other facilities and spare parts for Iran’s aged civilian jetliners.