Iranians hoard gold ahead of renewed U.S. sanctions

Section:

By Asa Fitch and Aresu Eqbali
The Wall Street Journal
Sunday, August 5, 2018

Iranians are hoarding gold as a safeguard against a collapsing local currency and soaring cost of living as the United States is poised to impose economic sanctions on Iran, pushing the metal's price to records in Tehran.

On Tuesday just after midnight U.S. Eastern time, the Trump administration is set to bring back a first wave of restrictions that had been waived under the Iran nuclear deal, an Obama-era agreement that gave Iran sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program.

... Dispatch continues below ...


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President Trump exited that multilateral deal in May, saying it didn't address Iran's military posture in Syria, Lebanon and other Middle Eastern countries. The new sanctions limit dealings in Iran's currency and with its automotive industry. They also threaten U.S. penalties for banks that finance the precious-metals trade with Iran and against anyone who sells precious metals to the Iranian government.

Worried about a shaky economy and enticed by government sales of gold coins, Iranians have converted savings into gold recently even as prices skyrocketed. Demand for gold bars and coins in Iran tripled year-over-year in the second quarter to about 15 metric tons, according to a World Gold Council report on Thursday. Iran's central bank has minted hundreds of thousands of new coins—more than 60 tons of gold in total—to feed the demand. The move has had little impact beyond stoking more demand for the metal.

"People are changing their money into gold because it's a reliable investment commodity," said Mohammad Kashtiaray, the head of gold and jewelry committee under Iran's Chamber of Guilds, a coalition of merchants. ...

... For the remainder of the report:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/iranians-hoard-gold-ahead-of-u-s-sanctions-...

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