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Iranian MP says $9 bln went ‘missing’ amid the collapse of rial

Iran desperately attempts to control currency market as rial collapses
Iranian member of parliament, Ezzatollah Yousefian Molla, revealed the “disappearance” of nine billion dollars in hard currency amid the economic crisis facing Iran with the collapse of the rial against the US currency, Al-Arabiya has said. 
Iranian news agency Tasnim quoted Molla, who is a member in the parliamentary committee for planning and budgeting, as saying that the money allocated for backing the import of basic commodities paid for by hard currency is $11 billion , but a stock of the expenditures done, showed only a sum of $2.5 billion , while there was no clue to what happened with the rest of the allocated money which was around $9 billion.
The Iranian MP said that the currency was guaranteed by the government, and which the Iranian central bank allocated for traders at a value of 43,000 rials against $1 , in order to import basic commodities.
Molla added that “transparency demands that the first step must be to halt corrupt operations through selling the rial at a value of 43,000 rials to traders who are hiding it (the currency).”
The Iranian lawmaker added: “Transparency is needed when combating corruption and this means that there is no reason not to find out the trail of dollars given to traders for the import of commodities, such as wheat, medicines or others.”
Earlier, Tehran General Prosecutor announced the arrest of 53 traders on charges of buying the dollar at a government price (43,000 rial), while selling goods at free market prices, threatening them that they will be executed or will serve long prison terms.
Iran’s economic crisis was further hit by the US restored sanctions on the Islamic Republic which went into effect on Tuesday.