Al Jazeera: Iran has introduced new monetary measures to halt the devaluation of the country's currency, a move seen as a setback to President Hassan Rouhani's efforts to bring investment and create more jobs following a 2015 nuclear deal.
The rial has been on a downward spiral, falling to an all-time low against the US dollar on Wednesday, when it traded for 50,000 rials, 30 percent higher than its value in August 2017.
But the rial posted a slight rebound later in the day, when police arrested black-market currency dealers, shut down a number of exchange offices and blocked hundreds of bank accounts owned by major currency traders, local media reported.
According to the Arman-e Emrooz newspaper, 755 bank accounts were also blocked as part of the police operation.
For many Iranians, the dollar-to-rial exchange rate is an indicator of the country's overall economic climate.
In response to the plunge, the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) announced plans for the presale of gold coins and sales of Certificates of Deposit (CDs) with an interest rate of 20 percent for a one-year term.
The measures were meant to deter speculators from continuing to bet against the rial as they had been doing over the past months, which accelerated the currency's drop in value.
High levels of non-performing loans, coupled with the government's inability to pump cash into the economy amid a drop in the price of oil, have strained Iran's economy.
The central bank has tried to contain the financial crisis, however, through structural reforms.
"The central bank used to issue the CDs at a rate of 16-17 percent. Now it will increase it to 20 percent, with the aim of creating financial stability," Pouya Jabal-Ameli, a CBI analyst, told Al Jazeera.
Over the past year, despite resistance by the banking sector, the central bank has also tried to reduce interest rates on deposits from more than 20 percent to 15 percent.
The move is aimed at encouraging Iranians to withdraw their money from banks and invest it in small- and medium-sized businesses - to help fight against a slump in the industry as well as boost employment.
However, with the devaluation of the rial and the gaining of US dollar, cash stays primarily in the currency market instead of being invested in job creation. Buying foreign money is a type of investment for many Iranians - and the more the US dollar gains, the more demand increases, resulting in less investment in businesses.
The official unemployment rate stood at 11.7 percent in the summer of 2017, according to the Statistical Center of Iran. But the Iranian parliament's research agency puts the unofficial unemployment rate as high as 22.6 percent.
Joblessness was one of the contributing factors to widespread protests, which erupted in late December and continued for days, spreading to dozens of cities across Iran >>>