Iraqi currency weathers onslaught by ISIS militants

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Azzaman, July 7, 2014

The Iraqi dinar has steadfastly resisted the onslaught by militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), preserving its value against the U.S. dollar despite high demand for the greenback, according to Iraqi Central Bank Governor Abdulbasit Turki.

“The strength of the dinar and the reserves that support it have not been affected by the latest conditions in the country and the attack by extremists on Iraqi territories,” Turki said.

He said the central bank has stashed away massive reserves as backup for the dinar in the years since the 2003-U.S. invasion of the country.

“The cash reserves in support of the dinar amount to 70 billion dollars. The reserves are capable of preserving its value at the current rate of 1200 dinars for each dollar,” Turki said.

He said the central bank has not pegged the value of the dinar to any foreign currency and that it has been relying on its massive hard cash reserves to safeguard its value.

Turki admitted that the crisis of the size Iraq was undergoing was bound to leave an impact on the economy.

However, he said the government “has the means to emerge from the crisis unscathed.”