Tue, 31 Jan 2023

BAGHDAD, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) -- Hundreds of Iraqis rallied on Wednesday near the Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) in downtown Baghdad to protest the recent devaluation of the Iraqi dinar and demand the government take action to stabilize the currency.

The demonstrators gathered outside the CBI complex on al-Rasheed Street amid a heavy security presence as riot police cordoned off the area, a source with the Interior Ministry said on condition of anonymity.

Many demonstrators carried flags and banners, some of which read, "Enough with promises. Devalue the dollar," and another read, "High prices are killing us."

Earlier in the week, Prime Minister Mohammed Shia' al-Sudani said that "the government continues its support for the Central Bank of Iraq to restore the dollar exchange rate to the official rate. We have taken several strong decisions to support and stabilize the Iraqi dinar, and we warn those who try to exploit the crisis."

"The dollar did not rise as a result of a government decision, but because of the presence of those who took advantage of the temporary conditions and turmoil in the markets," al-Sudani said in his speech during a memorial service for the late Shiite cleric Mohammad Baqir al-Hakim who was assassinated in August 2003.

On Monday, al-Sudani accepted the resignation of the country's Central Bank governor Mustafa Ghalib Mukheef following the recent devaluation of the Iraqi dinar. Mukheef, who had been in the post since 2020, was replaced by Muhsen al-Allaq as the acting governor.

Recently, the value of one U.S. dollar rose to more than 1,600 Iraqi dinars on the local markets, while its official value in the CBI is 1,450 Iraqi dinars. The dollar inflation led to an increase in the prices of commodities, including foodstuffs.

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