Iran's government is sparing no efforts to contain a currency crisis after the rial hit an all-time low.

The crash of the rial prompted panic buying of US dollars amid political uncertainty, but letters of credit (L/Cs) remain available according to Central Bank of Iran (CBI) governor, Valiollah Seif.

No currency crisis

Seif maintains that Iran has consistently maintained a hard currency surplus, ever since the 1979 Islamic revolution, "so, you have to look for domestic and international political reasons to understand this," he said.

"We're not facing a currency crisis, we're facing a crisis in accessing currency notes, and there's a big difference. If you want to access currency in the form of L/Cs, no matter [whether] you're in the private or public sector, you can," he added.

Panic buying

Only an estimated five per cent of foreign currency in Iran is in the form of notes for sale in banks and exchange markets while the rest is accessible through credits for business according to the CBI governor.

The Iranian currency has been steadily losing its value against the US dollar since 1979 while the exchange rate recently dipped to 60,000 rials to the US dollar as people's concerns over economic and political uncertainty prompted panic buying of more stable foreign currencies.

This article represents the views of the author and not necessarily those of the ICC or Coastline Solutions.