Iran’s Rial Slumps to Record Low Amid Protests, Nuclear Talks | Bloomberg
The Iranian rial fell to its lowest level ever recorded in the country’s unregulated, open market on Saturday as protests against the government continued and hopes of reviving the nuclear deal remained slim.
The rial slumped to an average of 363,500 to the US dollar, according to two exchange shops in the capital Tehran and local websites monitoring foreign currency prices. The rial has lost more than 40% against the dollar since August 2021, when ultraconservative cleric Ebrahim Raisi, who had pledged to rein in a turbulent currency market, was sworn in as Iran’s new president.
The rial’s plunge comes as the regime has struggled to quell anti-government protests that began in mid-September over the death in custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini after she was arrested for allegedly breaching the country’s Islamic dress codes.
The depreciation can be attributed in part to a lack in progress in reviving the Iran nuclear deal, which would end sanctions against the regime in return for a commitment to curb its nuclear program, a foreign currency trader who asked not to be identified said in a phone call with Bloomberg News. The currency is also suffering from heavy capital outflows from the stock market as Iranians look to raise cash to buy foreign currency to hedge against economic and political instability, the person said.
Source: Dinar Recaps
Al-Nusairi: The participation of banks in the Baghdad International Fair enhances confidence in the banking sector
The economic and banking advisor to the Association of Iraqi Private Banks, Samir Al-Nusairi, said, on Sunday, that the wide and distinguished participation of the Central Bank of Iraq, the Association of Iraqi Private Banks, government and private banks, and the Tamkeen Fund, which is supervised and managed by the Central Bank of Iraq
And the Association in the 46th session of the Baghdad International Fair enhances confidence in the Iraqi banking sector and strengthens relations Economic and banking relations with foreign countries and Arab countries, especially the Gulf countries, and thus these relations will contribute to joint cooperation and the creation of solid correspondent banks for international banking, where 12 countries and 363 Arab, foreign and Iraqi companies participate in all disciplines and fields.
The broad and active participation of banks in the activities of the Baghdad International Fair comes with a distinguished presence of the Association and authorized managers and their attempt to promote the services, banking products and modern technical services provided by banks at the present time, in particular the provision of financing loans to finance small, medium and housing projects within the initiative of the Central Bank to allocate 18 trillion dinars to revitalize the economic cycle
Stimulating the economy, reducing the unemployment rate for graduates and those with professions and crafts, achieving the societal goal of the banking sector, as well as motivating the public to go to save in banks and reduce hoarding in homes and in unsafe places “with the aim of raising the percentage of financial inclusion, which rose during this year to 33.5%.
He noted that “the public’s visit to the wings of the participating banks and to see the banks’ plans, procedures and services will contribute greatly to restoring confidence in them, as they are solid national financial institutions, and their deposits in them will be guaranteed by law, especially since the Deposit Insurance Company has begun its work.”
Al-Nusairi called on the concerned government authorities and the Ministry of Finance to implement the decisions of the Council of Ministers and the Economic Committee in the Council of Ministers regarding supporting private banks and creating a state of balance between the volume of deposits in government banks and the volume of deposits in private banks, which currently constitute only 13% of the total deposits.
Concerned with settling salaries for employees in banks with the aim of increasing the ability of banks to grant cash credit of all kinds, in addition to involving the leaders and experts of the Egyptian sector in making economic decisions related to the banking sector and their participation in official delegations and joint committees for economic cooperation with countries of the world because without a sound banking sector it is not possible to build an economy A healthy country.” link
A parliamentary proposal to prepare a medium-term budget in Iraq
Independent MP Hamid Al-Maliki announced, on Sunday, submitting a proposal to prepare a medium-term budget for a period of three years.
Al-Maliki said during a press conference held at the parliament building and attended by Shafak News Agency correspondent, we submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Planning and the Parliamentary Finance Committee to prepare a medium-term budget for a period of three years based on the provisions of Article 4 Second of the Financial Management Law No. 6 of 2019, which stipulates that the Federal Ministry of Finance prepare A medium-term budget for three years is submitted once and legislated, and the first year is obligatory, and the Council of Ministers, based on a proposal from the Ministry of Finance and Planning, may amend it for the second and third years and with the approval of the House of Representatives.
He added, “We asked the above authorities to consider this proposal, which is based on realistic justifications, and with the aim of setting a financial plan for the state with an average time limit, which must be carried out in terms of programs and projects, and an estimate of revenues and current and investment expenditures link
A conference in Washington draws the picture of Iraq in 20 years and its challenges internally and externally
Shafaq News/ The American “Atlantic Council” Institute presented a summary of a two-day conference it organized on Iraq in Washington, DC, in which many US and Iraqi decision-makers and senior experts and researchers participated, under the title “Turbulence and Transition: Iraq after twenty years of the invasion”, in an attempt to To paint a picture of Iraq over the past two decades, and to identify the opportunities and possibilities faced by new generations in Iraq.
In the report translated by Shafak News Agency, the American Institute explained that the conference was held on October 25 and 26 last, and included speeches and discussions related to the security scene in Iraq, the regional role in mediation and foreign policy in general, in addition to the energy sector, and efforts to deal with challenges climate, in addition to the challenges that Iraq is facing related to its transition to democracy.
Integrative Middle East
With regard to the first day of the conference, the report summarized parts of a speech delivered by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Iraq and Iran Affairs and Public Diplomacy in the US State Department Jennifer Gavito, in which she addressed the efforts of US President Joe Biden to strive for a more integrated Middle East by accelerating support For regional partners, including Iraq.
In addition, Javito also discussed the issue of the fruitful partnership between the United States and Iraq, and stressed that Iraq, although it has faced and overcome many challenges, is currently facing new challenges, including unemployment and lack of electricity, considering that the new government bears the responsibility for Develop policies that achieve improvement in the lives of citizens and reduce corruption.
According to the US official, the youth of Iraq are its most important resource, as 60% of the country’s population is under the age of 25.
Security and counter-terrorism
Under the title of the Armed Forces, Security and Combating Terrorism, the head of the Counter-Terrorism Service, Lieutenant-General Abdul-Wahhab Al-Saadi, stressed that security challenges lie at the heart of all problems in Iraq, especially since 2003, despite the fact that the United States helped develop the capabilities of the Iraqi army.
The report quoted Al-Saadi as saying that the army still needs a major development process and is trying to do so with the help of the Ministry of Interior and other government institutions.
For his part, retired US Army General Michael de Barbero spoke about the importance of continuing US aid and support to Iraq, but only on condition that corruption be tackled and Iran’s “malign influence” dealt with, in addition to continuing US intelligence activity in the field with the aim of combating terrorism in Iraq.
General Barbero also stressed the importance of reducing and eliminating corruption within the security institutions of the Kurdistan Regional Government.
strategic framework agreement
As for the former Iraqi Foreign Minister, Muhammad Ali al-Hakim, he spoke about the importance of the strategic framework agreement between Washington and Baghdad, considering it the basis for bilateral relations between the two countries, but he indicated the need for Iraq to balance its relations with both the United States and Iran.
Al-Hakim called on Iraq to attract more private sector companies, which would lead to strengthening political dialogue with the United States, in addition to developing the economy and the security situation in the country.
Al-Hakim also called for activating the exploitation of renewable energy, similar to what Egypt is doing, as Iraq enjoys an abundance of the sun in order to generate energy.
Under the title “Iraq in the region”, the researcher at the “Atlantic Council” Abbas Kazem addressed the stage of former Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi, as well as the idea that internal weakness opens the door to influence and external interference, and stresses the importance of Iraq’s internal recovery, by focusing on addressing Civil divisions based on ethno-sectarian lines.
As for the advisor in the office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Manal Radwan, she considered that Iraq was able to restore confidence in it in the region, especially on the part of Saudi Arabia, despite the fact that Iran’s proxies in Iraq still constitute a major issue threatening regional and international peace and security.
Radwan stressed the importance of strengthening Iraq’s institutions, adding that Saudi Arabia should work with Iraqis and other international partners to strengthen Iraq.
For his part, the former Consul General of Turkey in Erbil, Aydin Celgen, spoke about the close relationship between Turkey and Iraq, especially commercially, adding that Turkey is the way for all Iraqis to link up with the West.
Iraq and Iran
As for the prominent researcher at the British “Chatham House” Institute, Sanam Wakil, he pointed out that Iran has been a pioneer for 13 years in developing relations with Iraq, and therefore it is considered the most important foreign player in Iraq today.
According to Wakil, this relationship has caused great damage to Iraq’s internal stability, as Iran has used Iraq to advance its broader regional ambitions.
In his welcoming intervention on the second day of the conference, Director of the Atlantic Council, Olin Withington, discussed the unstable situation in Iraq and subsequent developments related to failures, in addition to potential solutions to multiple challenges, such as relying on constitutional reforms.
Withington highlighted the idea that Iraq, despite being a country dependent on oil, structural challenges are still present, in addition to the opportunities represented by the private sector are still limited.
According to Withington, the widespread protests mean that there are general grievances and a loss of patience, especially among young people, also pointing to the “political fragility” due to the inability to form a new government for more than a year since the last elections.
But he stressed that the young generation represents the future of this country, adding that “shaping the future is our primary collective task, and from here comes the priority of this conference.”
Withington noted that “the United States is committed to a strategic partnership with the people and government of Iraq, and it seeks to support a stable, prosperous, democratic, and united Iraq.”
Energy, Economy and Environment
The CEO of Crescent Petroleum, Majid Jaafar, also spoke, considering that the oil issue did not occur after the Ukraine war or the Corona epidemic, adding that there was a “chronic structural deficit in oil.”
Jaafar considered that in light of the lack of gas supplies, Iraq should play a major role in supplying global markets after meeting its own energy needs.
For his part, the former Iraqi Minister of Electricity Louay Al-Khatib addressed the issue of the electrical connection, saying that it solves the electricity crisis in Iraq.
The report quoted Sarah Vakhshuri, from the “SVB International Energy”, as saying that Iraq can achieve independence in energy and in the field of decarbonization, stressing the importance of extracting natural gas and increasing oil production.
She pointed out that the lack of investments in the field of fossil fuels is a major reason for the rise in energy prices and the shortage in its supply, noting that the issues of energy production and security are still present due to problems related to regulating investment that prevent Iraq’s progress locally and globally.
culture, education and technology
The report presented a summary of the speech of the former Iraqi Minister of Culture, Hassan Nazim, in which he addressed Iraq in the fields of culture, education and technology, discussing issues not centered on security, as he stressed Iraq’s determination to rebuild and renew itself despite all the challenges that exist.
Nazim stressed that Iraq has become a center of consensus while it was a center of conflicts in the past, pointing to Iraq’s clearly developed relationship with the United States, despite past and current challenges.
The democratic experience
Under the title “Iraq’s Democratic Experience”, former diplomat Faisal Al-Istrabadi, who founded the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Indiana University in the United States, spoke, noting that the most difficult task for the new Iraqi government is to create a sense of trust between the Iraqi people and the government.
But Al-Istrabadi considered that corruption in Iraq will continue and no major reform will be achieved.
For his part, the independent advisor on Iraq, Laith Kubba, touched on the previous protest movements and their impact, but considered that the “dysfunctional regime” was not able to reform itself from within, but the youth of Iraq are forcing the regime to change.
As for the former deputy in the Iraqi parliament, Sarkot Shams Al-Din, he pointed out that there are independent but “incompetent” individuals within the political system in Iraq, which would cause inaccuracies in the decision-making process within the parliament.
He added that parliament was still effectively controlled by major political parties or “key players”.
The report quoted Boston University professor Shamiran Mako as emphasizing on finding ways for the government to restore confidence by providing the necessary institutional reforms and pursuing more conciliatory policies.
He concluded by saying that what Iraq is witnessing was not a functioning democracy, but rather an elite game with regard to how to manage the work of the government.
Source: Dinar Recaps
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