Things aren't going so well for Iran on the economic front, lately. On Monday, the country's already suffering currency, the rial, plummeted in value and landed at a historic low. When the dust had settled, it took a whopping 34,800 rials to buy just one U.S. dollar. Last Monday, it only took 24,600 rials.
Nobody seems too surprised since a large part of the Western world tightened it economic sanctions on Iran this year as the country continues to pursue its nuclear program. There's now a full-fledged embargo on Iranian oil in the European Union. (Iran had to disguise its tankers to elude pirates after it ran out of space on land to store the unwanted inventory.) Meanwhile, the U.S. has barred Iranian banks from doing business with American banks. Uncle Sam has even banned Iranian-origin imports like rugs and pistachios.
All things considered, economists and the State Department alike say that the sanctions are finally taking their toll. "From our perspective, this speaks to the unrelenting and increasingly successful international pressure that we are all bringing to bear on the Iranian economy. It's under incredible strain," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told Reuters. "[Sanctions are] cutting deeper and deeper into the Iranian economy and this is an important factor in trying to change the calculus of the Iranian leadership."