Ali Khezrian, the spokesperson for the Article 90 Commission overlooking the parliament of Iran, has stated that the commission considers the issuance of the digital Rial CBDC by the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran to be beyond its designated authority and should be halted immediately.
According to Article 44 of the Internal Regulations of the parliament, the Article 90 Commission is formed to organize and improve the functioning of the Parliament and its representatives.
This commission monitors the performance of the executive, judicial, and legislative branches (including the Parliament itself) in accordance with various principles of the Constitution.
In an interview with the Iranian Parliament news agency, Ali Khezrian referred to the Article 90 Commission’s session regarding the digital currency project and stated: “According to the current monetary and banking laws, the Central Bank of Iran is not allowed to use non-physical financial instruments, and they can only issue physical forms of various coins and banknotes while considering economic interests and the necessary backings.”
Khezrian stated that according to current monetary and banking laws, the Central Bank’s entry into the digital currency project has no legal basis. “The Central Bank should halt the current process of entering the realm of digital currency” he added.
He emphasized that nowhere in the existing monetary and banking law is such permission given to the Central Bank to enter the area of digital currencies or issue non-physical money in any way. Therefore, the Article 90 Commission insists on the need for the Central Bank to provide legal documentation in this regard while halting the current process.
According to him, regarding the digital currency project, the Parliament should express its opinion in the form of a proposal or draft, and argue whether CBDC is a necessity for the country at the moment, considering the existing economic conditions.
Iran has been dealing with U.S. sanctions for decades, and it has had big impacts on its economy. Iran is currently experiencing one of the highest inflation rates in the world, reported by the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran to be around 50% at the moment.
Many however, consider real inflation to be much higher and believe the report is based on a CPI index that is manipulated to show artificially lower numbers.
The Iranian CBDC, known as the digital Rial, is a digital banknote that is advertised to be using distributed ledger technology and is issued by the Central Bank of Iran. This institution initiated a pilot project for this digital currency with the issuance of one billion Rials in September of last year.
Many are against the Central Bank’s digital Rial project, and they believe that this project contradicts the interests of the general public, considering Articles 8 and 9 of the Constitution.
Critics express concerns over the project, saying this will grant the central bank unrestricted control over individuals’ assets.