Demonstrations in Baghdad after the drop in the value of the dinar

Demonstrations in Baghdad after the drop in the value of the dinar
Demonstrations in Baghdad after the drop in the value of the dinar
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Hundreds demonstrated near the headquarters of the Central Bank in Baghdad today, Wednesday, to protest against the recent decline in the value of the Iraqi dinar against the dollar, which entailed a rise in the prices of imported consumer goods.
Hundreds of different regions of Iraq waved the country’s flags or held banners calling for government intervention to stop the dinar’s decline to about 1,620 dinars per dollar, down from 1,470 dinars per dollar in November.

The dinar has been falling steadily against the dollar since the Federal Reserve Bank of New York imposed stricter controls on international dollar transactions conducted by Iraqi commercial banks in November, to stop the illegal transfer of dollars to neighboring Iran, which is subject to harsh US sanctions.

Under the restrictions, which came into effect this month, Iraqi banks must use an electronic platform to disclose transaction details. However, most private banks did not register on the platform and resorted to the informal black market in Baghdad to buy dollars.

Officials at the Central Bank of Iraq and dealers said that this created a deficit in the dollar, as demand exceeded supply and accelerated the decline in the value of the dinar against the dollar.

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“Our demands are clear: The government must intervene to stop the devaluation of the dinar because we are suffering from high prices in the local markets,” said Asaad Khudair, a laborer who came from the southern city of Najaf to take part in the protest.

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And one of the banners asked to stop the “stealing” of dollars from Iraq by neighboring countries, in reference to Iran.

Dozens of riot police were deployed around the Central Bank building and in the surrounding streets, but there were no reports of clashes or arrests.

Government sources said that Prime Minister Mohamed Shia Al-Sudani decided to change the governor of the Central Bank on Monday because he did not take effective steps to face the consequences of the new regulations from the Federal Reserve and its impact on the dinar.

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