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Currency falls to record low

TEHRAN — Iran’s currency hit a record low against the U.S. dollar in street trading, the semiofficial Mehr News Agency reported Sunday.

Mehr said the rial dropped nearly 7 percent in a single day, to 24,300 rials to the dollar. Street traders say the rial rose slightly later Sunday, to about 23,900 rials to the dollar.

The collapse of the currency is a sign of the effect of Western sanctions over Iran’s nuclear program. The West suspects Iran is aiming to build nuclear weapons, a charge Iran denies.

On July 1, the European Union banned import of Iranian oil, and the U.S. tightened sanctions against Iran’s banks.

On Friday, Canada cut diplomatic relations with Iran over its nuclear program, support for Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime and the country’s poor record on human rights issues.

The governor of Iran’s central bank, Mahmoud Bahmani, said the plunge of the rial is the result of a rush on the market by buyers seeking to obtain the dollar, rather than other economic reasons.


President to unveil austerity plan

PARIS — Socialist President Francois Hollande was due to announce Sunday unprecedented belt-tightening measures of billions of dollars amid mounting discontent over the flagging economy and job cuts.

Mr. Hollande, whose popularity ratings have taken a dive less than four months after he took power, is looking vulnerable as he prepares to push through a deficit-cutting budget and face down union anger over mounting layoffs.

The Journal du Dimanche warned that Mr. Hollande — who famously said he does not “like the rich” and has proposed a stinging 75 percent tax on income exceeding $1.3 million — would announce “unprecedented” austerity measures.

It said the president would outline in an interview on TF1 television new taxes of $19 billion to $25 billion, as well as austerity measures that would save $11.3 billion.


Quake survivors await supplies

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