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Iran currency fetches wild rates in confused market

TEHRAN -- Iran's rial was fetching wildly different rates in confused market conditions on Tuesday, after a dramatic fall the day before and amid calls by officials for government intervention.

The ISNA news agency said the currency was being sold for between 36,000 and 39,000 to the dollar in Tehran's money-changing district — a decline of four to 12 percent over Monday's close.

But online exchange tracking websites showed the rial had either strengthened or was close to Monday's closing rate of 34,700.

The varying reported values followed a startling plunge of 17 percent on Monday that the United States seized on as proof that Western sanctions over Iran's disputed nuclear program were working.

Iran's currency is around 80 percent weaker than its value of a year ago, before the sanctions were announced.

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