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Iranians Protest Over Plunging Rial

Iranian riot police stand next to a garbage container which is set on fire by protesters in central Tehran, near the main bazaar, on October 3, 2012, in the first sign of public unrest over Iran's plunging currency. The rial, lost more than half of its value since last week as the plunge has greatly increased inflation in Iran, which is widely seen as far higher than the official 23.5 percent given by the central bank.
Iranian riot police stand next to a garbage container which is set on fire by protesters in central Tehran, near the main bazaar, on October 3, 2012, in the first sign of public unrest over Iran's plunging currency. The rial, lost more than half of its value since last week as the plunge has greatly increased inflation in Iran, which is widely seen as far higher than the official 23.5 percent given by the central bank.

The protests over the plunging Iranian rialare taking currency wars to a whole new level.

Call it a currency war gone wild.

The Iranian rial has been sinking like a stone lately, and Iranians are fed up. Tensions finally boiled over in the form of protests and demonstrations in Teheran, with money changers operating on the black market fighting with police.

Iran has been struggling to maintain the value of the rial in the face of international sanctions that have been hobbling the country's economy. In the past they have injected petrodollars to keep the rial's official value high relative to the dollar. But with sanctions in place, those injections are harder to execute, and the cost of everyday goods is skyrocketing as the rial's value shrinks. Iranians are now seeing runs on assets like gold that can easily be sent overseas.

How weak is the rial? In the past 18 months, it has lost about 80 percent of its value.

This video clip, cited by The New York Times, shows the effects.

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