Who is Killing Iran’s Currency?

December 21st, 2011 at 8:14 am David Frum | 23 Comments |

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Something – or somebody – is destroying Iran’s currency. Steady decline over the past two months has turned into a “panic” over the past 72 hours.

[T]he rial fell to unprecedented lows against the dollar Tuesday, amounting to a 15 percent loss in value over the past three days, the Fars News Agency reported.

“There is sheer panic in the market,” one steel trader said. “The price of the dollar is increasing by the hour.”

The immediate trigger is a breakdown in trade relations with the United Arab Emirates – but obviously there’s a lot more going on.

And this is before the central bank sanctions of Menendez-Kirk begin to bite. It really may be possible to change Iran without war.

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23 Comments so far ↓

  • Ray_Harwick

    Hillary Clinton.

    • Giggles

      Nah, it’s Perry with all his hard talk.

      The sooner Perry sorts out Iran, the sooner NATO can bring supplies through Iran up to Afghanistan and sort out Pakistan. Now that is a foreign policy….

      • booch221

        Perry, Romney, Gingrich, Bachmann–all of them are itching for a war with Iran, which would make the war in Iraq look like a picnic. We don’t need another cowboy or cowgirl taking us to war for no reason.

  • paulw

    Q: Who is killing Iran’s currency?
    A: Greece


  • dante

    Or, it might be possible to force war without having to start it yourself…. Countries do dangerous things when their currency collapses.

  • Baron Siegfried

    It was Col. Mustard in the Drawing Room with the vase . . .

  • icarusr

    Oh dear God … you know what is going to happen next?

    Headline in Iran’s papers: “Zionist confesses to currency conspiracy”. The story line will be that, “the author of the infamous ‘axis of evil’ line and a confirmed proponent of the Zionist entity has just confessed that Iran’s currency problems are caused by conspiracies of the enemies of Iran. Given Frum’s ties to the Zionist circles, there is no doubt that he gets his info from Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and the Jewish bankers of Wall Street …” blah blah blah – a dozen Jewish Iranians to be arrested, a few Baha’ii temples to be ransacked, two or three reformist economists to be tried for treason and ties to the Zionist entity, and more students to be tortured and hanged …

    Iran’s currency is collapsing, eh? Not the first time, but there is no mystery here that cannot be solved by five minutes’ scanning of nongovernmental sites – conservative, nor even reformist – in Persian. There has been a massive embezzlement scandal that is reaching deep into Iran’s religious and banking hierarchy; what was left of Tehran’s stock market has collapsed; in the last year alone, some $40 billion has been withdrawn from Iran’s foreign exchange accounts, without parliamentary appropriation (yes, there used to be things like that), and because Iran’s President disbanded the country’s equivalent of the Office of Management and Budget (a venerable institution that was one of the oldest government institutions in Iran), there is effectively no overight and no planning for any revenues or expenditure.

    The President, who escaped impeachment three months ago, is being called to the Majlis; his associates are under surveillance and some have been arrested; there is open dissension in the ranks of the conservative establishment … add to that the fact that the attempted extortion of the EU (by storming the British embassy) has backfired rather badly (the EU is mooting a boycott of Iran’s oil), that even the conservative media are questioning the regime’s support for Syria, and that Kim Jong-Il, Iran’s greatest nuclear benefactor, is dead …

    No, no one is undermining Iran’s currency. The currency, and the economy, are collapsing as a result of thirty years of war and adventurism and changing world conditions. Please, please – do not add to the conspiracy theory fires.

    • lilmanny

      Agreed. It is a piece of crap to begin with and I doubt that the regime’s members keep their personal savings in anything but good old American dollars.

    • balconesfault

      Damn, I love the comments section on this site!

    • JohnMcC

      Excellent contribution, Mr Icarusr! May I only add that “whoever” is destroying the Iranian economy and nuclear program is also doing this while not making a potentially inconvenient confrontation with Iran’s trading partners, that is PRC and Russia. And is stressing the alliances among Iran’s governing elites.

      Is it too much to think that “whoever” could add a third scalp to that of bin Ladin and Qaddafi? Damn fine work for an appeaser.

    • sweatyb

      This is fascinating stuff, thanks! Would you mind posting links to your sources? Not that I could read them, but maybe Google could.

    • PW43

      If years of war and adventurism can cause a currency to collapse then when is the bottom going to fall out of the US dollar?

      • icarusr

        If the US dollar were not the reserve currency (for the Chinese, the PetroEmirates, the Russian Oligarchs, Carlos Slim), Bush the Lesser would have driven it into Weimar Mark territory.

  • sunroof

    It looks like the Iranians are doing a fine job of killing their own currency.

  • valkayec

    Don’t forget that the Arabs in the region are putting pressure on Iran, or at the very least threatening to do so, particularly the KSA. Personally, I’m happy that Middle Eastern countries are starting to deal with the problems in their part of the world instead of expecting the US to solve all their problems.

    Meanwhile, Iran’s internal dissension continues:

    “Is the long night of winter solstice supposed to become the long night in the modern history of our country? Is it fair the land that could be at the dawn of freedom suffers from a long night and remains behind prison bars in anticipation of democracy and freedom? / Zahra Rahnavard – 21 Dec 2010″

  • nuser

    “It really may be possible to change Iran without war.” Hm.. Mr Frum , is war now a given?

  • Graychin

    The Invisible Hand?