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In a sign of the multi-layered theories swirling in Iran, some economists and experts have accused the government of trying to devalue its currency in order to meet its own budget deficit.

The government earns more than 90 percent of Iran’s overall foreign exchange revenues as a result of oil sales. Higher dollar rates bring more rials into the treasury to pay salaries and fund state programs, such as guarantee stipends to compensate for the withdrawal of fuel and food subsidies last year.

Hosseini, the economy minister, challenged the government’s critics to provide more than just claims.

“We are not after devaluating rial,” the semi-official Fars news agency quoted Hosseini as saying. “Those who make such claims better offer evidence.”

Murphy reported from Dubai, United Arab Emirates. AP writer Bradley Klapper in Washington also contributed.