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Iran: Hello toman; good-bye rial

Iran's administration has proposed reintroducing the toman as the nation's official currency. It's to replace the rial, which has been around since the 1930s - but the toman has never really been dead.

Rial bank notes (MEHR)

Iran's news agency IRNA said Wednesday that President Hassan Rouhani's government had proposed changing the name and denomination of the country's official currency.

The report said the Cabinet approved a measure calling for a change from the rial to the toman. One toman would be worth 10 rials, meaning that a zero would de facto be removed from price figures.

A US dollar would currently buy 3,200 tomans at official exchange rates, and 3,900 tomans at unofficial rates.

End of confusion?

Parliament will have an opportunity to weigh in on the proposed change before it goes to the constitutional watchdog, the Guardian Council, for approval.

It's still unclear when new coins and bank notes will be made available. The toman was already in use in the country until the 1930s.

For tourists, the proposed return of the currency could provide an advantage. Until now, the rial has caused confusion for travelers as it was the official currency used at banks and hotels, but not among locals. They've never stopped referring to tomans to calculate prices.

hg/jd (dpa, AP)

 

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