Iranian Central Bank becomes only legal issuer of banknotes

The Iranian central bank has begun issuing its own high-denomination banknotes to replace banknotes provided by the country's private banks. From now on only banknotes provided by the central bank will be valid for use as payment, the Iranian state news agency IRNA reported on Saturday. Central bank governor Tahmasb Mazaheri told IRNA that the monopolization of the printing of banknotes would make it easier for the bank to control the money supply. Inflation in Iran currently stands at 26 percent and with the new policy the government will be able to prevent private banks from simply printing more money to compensate for the loss of value of the currency, a move that only fuels inflation.