SULAIMANI (ESTA) — The Iranian rial fell to a new low against the U.S. dollar on Thursday (October 1) as the economy reels under the COVID-19 pandemic and U.S. sanctions.
The dollar was offered for as much as 300,000 rials, up from 294,000 rials on Wednesday, according to foreign exchange site Bonbast.com, which tracks the unofficial market.
The currency has lost about 49% of its value in 2020 as a drop in oil prices has deepened the economic crisis in the country, which also has the highest COVID-19 death toll in the Middle East.
In mid-July, the U.S. dollar rose to around 255,000 rials but the rial then recouped some of its losses to trade at around 220,000 in August.
Washington has unilaterally reimposed sanctions on Iran since 2018, which combined with a drop in oil prices have crippled the economy in Iran, which also has the highest COVID-19 death toll in the Middle East with more than 26,000 deaths.