Iran has banned the import of 1,339 products that it can produce itself as it prepares for sanctions that the United States has threatened to impose again, local newspaper Financial Tribune reported on Monday.
The banned imports include home appliances, textile products, footwear and leather products, furniture, healthcare items and some machinery, according to the Tehran Times.
Meanwhile, protests broke out in Tehran as rial’s value against the dollar continued to fall, which has made imports costlier. The police patrolled the Grand Bazaar on Monday to restore normalcy after clashes with protestors, Reuters reported. Most shops remained closed.
Hundreds of merchants protested in front of the Parliament in Tehran, witnesses said. “We are all angry with the economic situation,” an unidentified merchant told Reuters. “We cannot continue our businesses like this. But we are not against the regime.”
The rial sank to 90,000 against the dollar in the unofficial market on Monday from around 75,500 on Thursday. The currency was at 42,890 to a dollar at the end of 2017. Some sanctions by the United States will be imposed as early as August, which may hurt Iran’s earnings from oil exports.
In May, US President Donald Trump pulled out of a nuclear agreement with Iran signed during Barack Obama’s tenure in 2015. The nuclear deal, signed by the five permanent members of the United Nations, Germany, the European Union and Iran, had lifted decades-old sanctions on Tehran on the promise that it would tone down its nuclear programme considerably.