A spokesman for the judiciary said a court sentenced the former Iranian central bank governor to 10 years in prison for violating the country’s monetary system
TEHRAN, Iran – A court has sentenced the former Iranian central bank governor to 10 years in prison for violating the country’s monetary system, a justice spokesman said on Saturday.
In addition to violating the monetary system, Valliollah Seif also played a role in smuggling foreign currency, justice spokesman Zabihollah Khodaeian told state television.
Ahmad Araghchi, then a member of parliament for Seif, was sentenced to eight years on the same charges, Khodaeian said. Eight others were also sentenced to various prison terms, he said. All defendants have the right to appeal.
Seif was governor of the Iranian central bank for five years until 2018 under former president Hassan Rouhani. Araghchi was his deputy from 2017 to 2018.
State television said it was involved in currency market breaches in 2016, at a time when the Iranian rial suffered significant losses against major foreign currencies.
The defendants illegally injected $ 160 million and € 20 million into the market, state television said.
The rial’s exchange rate was $ 39,000 to $ 1 in 2017 at the start of Araghchi’s tenure, but it was over $ 110,000 to $ 1 by the time he was sacked in 2018. The change coincided in part with the severe US sanctions imposed on Tehran.
The sanctions have brought down sharply the exports of oil from Iran, the country’s main source of income.