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Friday's Iran Live Coverage: How to "Engineer" an Election
1820 GMT: Sanctions Watch. Marcus George of Reuters profiles the "informal currency dealers of Dubai, [who] have emerged as an important link between Iran's economy and the rest of the world" amid international sanctions:
Since businessmen trading with Iran could no longer transfer their money through normal banking channels, they turned to the dealers. Iranian savers moving their wealth out of the country were another source of business.
"Trading went crazy after those sanctions," the dealer in the Deira office said in a snatched conversation between endless calls and cups of tea. On one day, he recalled, he handled about 1 billion United Arab Emirates dirhams ($270 million).
What is most interesting about George's piece, however, is the indication that --- with foreign reserves dwinding --- Iran may have to limit even this informal trade:
last October, as the rial plunged in value, the government in Tehran clamped down on the supply of hard currency. That hit the Dubai dealers hard - both by restricting the amount of funds they handled and making it harder to gauge prices acceptable to both them and their customers.
"Now it's different. The government is fixing rates. Everything is grinding to a halt," said the Deira dealer....
On some days, the dealer said, he doesn't trade at all. On others, he handles around 10 to 15 million dirhams worth of businesss - and only with trusted clients.