General Ramazan Sharif, head of public relations for Sepah (the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps), has given an extensive and revealing interview to Reformist newspaper Shargh. Sharif is described by the author of the article, Mohammad Norouzi, as “one of the few people in the security field who has had a good relationship with the media.”
Since the election of President-elect Hassan Rouhani, the Iranian currency has gained considerably with respect to the dollar in Iran’s open, unregulated market. Many had taken this increase in value as a sign of renewed confidence by Iranians in Rouhani’s promise to improve relations with the West. Under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the value of the toman had decreased dramatically, causing many Iranians to turn to dollars as a form of investment.
However, according to two articles by Reformist papers Shargh and Bahar, the strengthening of the toman may indeed be the result of actions taken by Ahmadinejad’s administration to fulfill a promise to bring down the toman value to below 3,000 with respect to the dollar. This decision by the current administration, which would be only a temporary solution, may cause serious economic challenges for the Rouhani administration. A summary of the two articles was also carried by Persian-language Radio Farda.