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Iran’s rial drops to record low against the U.S. dollar (www.reuters.com)

July 13 (Reuters) – The Iranian rial fell to its lowest ever rate against the U.S. dollar on the unofficial market on Monday, a foreign exchange website reported, as the economic impacts of U.S. sanctions and the coronavirus pandemic worsen.

The dollar was being offered for as much as 235,500 rials, according to website Bonbast.com, which tracks the unofficial market. The official rate on the central bank website is 42,000.

U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from a multilateral deal aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear programme in May 2018 and reimposed sanctions that have battered the economy.

A drop in oil prices and a slump in the global economy caused by the pandemic have deepened Iran’s economic crisis.

The country has been gradually relaxing its lockdown since mid-April but has recently reported a sharp rise in coronavirus infections and deaths.

On Saturday, President Hassan Rouhani called for big gatherings such as weddings and wakes to be banned, but insisted the economy had to stay open.

Health ministry figures showed there were 203 deaths from coronavirus in the past 24 hours taking the total number of deaths in Iran to 13,032 on Monday. There have been 259,652 infections and 222,539 recoveries.

News site Khabaronline reported on Monday that Isa Jafari had become the third Iranian member of parliament to die as a result of the coronavirus. (Reporting By Babak Dehghanpisheh; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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