Hundreds protest in Baghdad over tanking currency
STORY: Hundreds from different Iraqi regions waved Iraqi flags or carried banners demanding government intervention to stop the dinar's decline to around 1,620 to the U.S. dollar from 1,470 in November.
The dinar went into a tailspin against the dollar after the New York Federal Reserve imposed tighter controls on international dollar transactions by commercial Iraqi banks in November to halt the illegal siphoning of dollars to neighboring Iran, which is under tough U.S. sanctions.
Under the curbs that took effect this month, Iraqi banks must use an online platform to reveal their transaction details. But most private banks have not registered on the platform and resorted to informal black markets in Baghdad to buy dollars.
This has created dollar shortages as demand has outstripped supply and accelerated the dinar's descent against the greenback, Iraqi central bank officials and traders say.
Dozens of anti-riot policemen were deployed around the central bank building and surrounding streets but no clashes or arrests were reported.