Iran temporarily bans luxury goods imports

Iran's biggest denomination of currency, 100,000 Rials, as displayed in Tehran. Iran's currency has devalued sharply in recent months. One US dollar today equals around 30,000 rials, according to a November 8, 2012 Reuters report.

Iran today blocked imports of 75 luxury goods in an effort to boost domestic manufacturing and keep the currency in-country, reported the Associated Press, making foreign-made items like mobile phones, laptops, cars, and clothing no longer available to consumers there. 

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Iran's economy is struggling after being hit with a rash of economic sanctions over its disputed nuclear program. Western countries fear the Islamic Republic is using the program to make a bomb, a charge Iran denies. 

Reuters cited the state-run Iran Daily as saying the goods will remain unavailable pending a "final review." 

The move represents Iran's "most sweeping measure so far" to help aid its crippled economy, according to AP

The country's foreign import costs run about $50 billion a year, Reuters said, citing government sources. 

Commerce Ministry official Sasan Khodaei told local press that luxury items account for about $4 million a year. "By stopping permits on them there will be a remarkable saving of hard currency," he told the IRAN newspaper today, reported AP

Iran in October prohibited the export of a number of basic items, including wheat, flour, and sugar, said Reuters