Iranian Rial
Iranian RialThinkstock

A court on Saturday sentenced the former governor of Iran's central bank to 10 years in prison for violating the country's currency system, a judiciary spokesperson said, according to The Associated Press.

Besides violating the currency system, Valliollah Seif also had a role in smuggling foreign currency, said the judiciary spokesman, Zabihollah Khodaeian.

Ahmad Araghchi, a then-deputy to Seif, was sentenced to eight years on the same charges, Khodaeian said. Eight others were also sentenced to various prison terms and all have the right to appeal.

Seif was governor of Iran's central bank for five years until 2018 under former President Hassan Rouhani. Araghchi was his deputy from 2017 to 2018, noted AP.

State TV said they were involved in violations of the currency market in 2016, a time when the Iranian rial sustained considerable losses in value against major foreign currencies.

The rial has tumbled from a rate of around 32,000 rials to $1 at the time of Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, hitting a record low in 2016, to around 27,000 rials to $1 in recent months.

The currency then rallied for some time after US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the US from the nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions on the Islamic Republic. It once again reached a record low in July of 2018.

The sanctions have caused Iran’s oil exports, the country’s main source of income, to fall sharply.