Iranian Rial Gains on Hope of U.S.-Iran Détente, Shargh Says

The Iranian rial appreciated 6 percent in the past week, on hopes the U.S. may delay further sanctions on Iran following the election of its new president, Hassan Rohani, the Shargh newspaper reported.

Since Rohani’s June 14 election, Iranians have been selling dollars they bought over the past year while the domestic currency was tumbling amid sanctions, the Tehran-based newspaper said. The rial reached 30,500 yesterday after more than 120 members of the U.S. Congress signed a letter last week calling on President Barack Obama to engage Iran diplomatically, according to the daily.

Western nations suspect Iran wants to use its nuclear program to produce weapons, and have imposed a seires of sanctions to pressure it to curb its nuclear ambitions. Iran says its program is meant for energy production and medical research.

Unlike President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who advocated a confrontational approach to Western nations, Rohani has promised to bring more transparency to Iran’s nuclear program in an effort to roll back U.S. and European Union measures against the country. The sanctions have cut oil exports, pushed inflation to more than 35 percent and cost the rial more than half of its value against the dollar in the past year.

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