Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani announced on Monday that the Islamic Republic of Iran’s central bank has stopped issuing permits and licenses for new private banks or commercial lenders.
“I’ve instructed the central bank not to issue any permits to any new private banks,” President Hassan Rouhani said Monday in his first major live television appearance since the December 28 protests, according to Bloomberg. “We’re determined to solve the problem facing depositors at financial credit institutions, which has affected two to three million families.”
Rouhani reportedly blamed his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for the financial crisis.
In October 2016, Al-Monitor noted:
Indeed, the thousands of credit institutions received their licenses from ministries and other influential bodies under former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. At present, the number of “unlicensed” credit and finance institutions exceeds 7,000, according to Tehran-based economist Farshad Momeni.
According to Bloomberg, Monday’s announcement from Rouhani was the result of months of financial decline after the “collapse of several major institutions froze the savings of hundreds of thousands of depositors and helped fuel anti-government protests.”
Leading commercial banks and so-called credit institutions or funds have reportedly been shut down or received government bailouts.
The three-plus weeks of anti-government and anti-clerical protests in Iran were sparked in large part due to inflation, unemployment, and economic unrest many Iranians have faced as a result of sanctions and money being spent on exporting terrorism through the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its presence in Syria, Iraq, and other countries instead of on the anguished Iranian people.
So far, at least 25 people have died as a result of the ongoing protest throughout various cities in Iran. Although the official statistic is that 1,000 have been arrested, that number is believed to be much higher.
The protests are the most significant since the fraudulent election of Ahmadinejad in 2009.