Will Iran's currency change from rial to toman?

The German news site Deutsche Welle reports that Iran is considering changing the currency from rial to toman. Iran has had the rial as its currency since 1932 but unofficially people have been using the name toman ever since with 1 toman being 10 rials.

The possible renaming of the currency is part of a longer process which started in the 1980's. The issue has re-emerged from time to time because of the low value of the rial and rising inflation. From Wikipedia: "On 12 April 2007, the Economics Commission of the Parliament announced initiation of a statute in draft to change the currency, claiming redenominations had helped reduce inflation elsewhere, such as in Turkey. In 2008, an official at the Central Bank of Iran said the bank plans to slash four zeros off the rial and rename it the toman. The bank printed two new travelers cheques, which function quite similar to a banknote, with values of 500,000 and 1,000,000 rials. However, they have the figures "50" and "100" written on their top right hand corners, respectively, which is seen as the first step toward a new currency.

In 2010, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced that Iran would remove three zeros (not the four that had been proposed) from its national currency as part of the economic reform plan.

In April 2011, it was reported that the Central Bank is working on a six-month redenomination project to cut four zeros from the national currency and replace old bank notes with new ones, similar to the redenomination of the Turkish lira and introduction of the Turkish new lira in 2005.

A website to poll the public on the redenomination plan was launched on 21 July 2011; the public was allowed to vote on how many zeroes to cut and what the new currency's name should be. Preliminary results indicate that four zeroes would be cut (in line with the government's recommendation) and that the name will be changed to Parsi."

So now it seems they're going for the toman after all. Which makes sense since everybody on the street is already using this name.

Update 12-12-2016: a deputy governor of the Central Bank of Iran has mentioned that we can expect new banknotes early 2017 if the Cabinet plans are approved by the parliament.

Steven Friday 09 December 2016 at 10:27 am | | news
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