What is the Currency of Iran?

By Joseph Kiprop on June 20 2019 in Economics

Iranian rial banknotes.

The Iranian rial is the official currency in Iran and is abbreviated as IRR. The Iranian rial is made up of 1000 subunits known as dinars. The Iranian rial was introduced in 1798 and was equivalent to 1,250 dinars. However, the issue of the rial ceased in 1825 as the country decimalized its currency and was replaced by the qiran. The rial was later adopted in 1932 as the official currency in Iran and replaced the qiran at par. During its adoption, the rial was pegged to the British pound, with one British pound being equivalent to 59.75 Iranian rials. Then in 1945, the government decided to shift it currency peg from the British pound to the US dollar, with one US dollar being equivalent to 32.25 rials. The Iranian rial faced increased inflation during the country’s Islamic Revolution in the 1970s. International sanctions from major global economies, such as the United States and the EU, in the 21st century stemming from the country’s nuclear program worsened the inflation of the currency, with the rial losing 80% of its value in 2012.

Iranian Toman

The Iranian toman was the official currency in Iran until the adoption of the Iranian rial in 1932. The toman was made up of 10,000 dinars and between 1798 and 1825 it was subdivided into 8 rials. The toman was issued by the Imperial Bank of Persia in gold coins as well as banknotes with the most frequently used coins being in 25, 10, 5, 2, 1, a half, and a fifth toman denominations. In 1890, banknotes were issued in 1000, 500, 100, 50, 25, 20, 10, 5, 3, 2 and 1 toman denominations. In 1924, the Imperial Bank of Persia issued a new series of banknotes which consisted of 100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 toman banknotes. The Imperial Bank of Persia issued the last gold toman coins in 1965, 33 years after the currency ceased from being the official currency in Iran. Although the toman has been replaced as the country's official currency, the term continues to be used, and is considered to be a superunit of the Iranian rial, where one toman is equivalent to 10 Iranian rials.

Iranian Qiran

Also known as the kran or the qerun, the Iranian qiran was the currency used in Iran and was introduced in 1825, with ten qirans being equivalent to 1 toman. It was demonetized in 1932 after being replaced by the current Iranian rial at par. The qiran was made up of subunits known as shahi, where 20 shahi were equivalent to 1 qiran. Other subunits of the qiran include the dinar, with 1000 dinars being equal to 1 qiran. In 1930, the Iranian qiran was pegged on the British sterling pound, with 1 sterling pound being equal to 59.75 qirans.

Qiran Coins

Iranian qiran coins were minted in one, a half, quarter, and an eighth qiran denominations. All denominations were minted in silver coins until 1876, when a new coins were introduced in 200, 100, 50, 25, 12 dinars and 5, 2, 1, a half, and quarter qiran denominations.

More in Economics