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Iran: The Foreign-Exchange System
Country Study > Chapter 3 > The Economy > International Trade and the Balance of Payments > The Foreign-Exchange System


After the Revolution, Iran adopted a complex multiple exchange-rate system, under which the Exchange Allocation Commission allocates foreign-exchange receipts (including nonoil exports and services) for government, commercial, and noncommercial purposes. The official basic rate of the rial (see Glossary) is pegged to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) special drawing right (see Glossary) without a link to the U.S. dollar. Since 1991 Iran’s multiple exchange-rate system has been simplified and modified several times, reflecting international trade policy reforms and stable foreign-exchange receipts. For example, in 2000 external-sector policies aimed at creating transparency in the foreign-exchange market, reducing trade barriers, and easing conditions for nonoil exports. In the early 2000s, foreign-exchange policy continued to focus on moving toward a unified managed exchange-rate system and elimination of the multiple rates system. By 2006 gross international reserves had increased from US$12.1 billion to an estimated US$58.5 billion.

Data as of 2008

Last Updated: January 2008

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Iran was first published in 1987. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

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