Jul 02, 2018 12:38 Asia/Tehran

Iranian MP , AliReza Mahjoub, has emphasized that much more needs to be done to control rising prices and inflation. He also said the government needs to adopt stricter policies to defend the national currency, the Rial.

In an exclusive interview with Iran Press,  parliamentarian, AliReza Mahjoub, has criticized the Iranian government for not doing enough to defend the value of the Iranian currency, the Rial, and  also to control rising prices.

Commenting on the state of the economy, the Tehran MP said:  "Not so long ago, the US dollar was worth 36000  to 37000 Rials,  but today the dollar is worth 42000 Rials.  In effect we have witnessed a 25% drop in the value of the Rial in the long-term.  The effects of this on the economy is quite apparent today. 

Elsewhere in his remarks, Mahjoub said when the national currency loses its value,  this pushes up the costs of imported goods and factory costs, it also raises transportation costs,  and thus prices rise generally  and inflation increases  as well.  The government has undertaken to keep the inflation rate in single figures, below 10% , and the government has also vowed to defend the value of the national currency, the Rial. 

 Elsewhere in his remarks, the Tehran MP said some unscrupulous individuals,  who are able to obtain US dollars at the official exchange rate of 42000 Rials , in order to import goods into the country, make a  huge amount of profits, because in effect they sell their imported product at hugely inflated prices , equivalent to 80000 Rials per dollar or even more !

Mahjoub added:  "Current laws are too lax and 'very soft'  on these unscrupulous importers who make vast profits at the expense of the general public.  New tougher  legislation needs to be introduced to punish such individuals and act as a real deterrent."

In further comments AliReza Mahjoub said: "About a year ago, when US president, Donald Trump, seriously threatened Iran, and it became clear the Americans were thinking about reintroducing sanctions against Iran, and putting restrictions on Iran's banking and finance sector, it was predictable that Iran's national currency , the Rial, might lose its value in relation to the dollar. Thus , here in the Majlis ( Iranian parliament ) we predicted that prices and inflation might rise significantly.