Iran's central bank, which has just begun formal open market operations, is responsible for a 20% money supply expansion to further embed inflation, as it tries to kickstart growth and ensure banking system liquidity. Image: iStock

As tensions rise in Iran ahead of the return of American sanctions, the top foreign exchange official at the country’s central bank has been arrested, the judiciary said on Sunday.

Ahmad Araghchi, vice-governor in charge of forex, and several other unnamed individuals, including a government clerk and four currency brokers, were arrested, said a judiciary spokesman, the state broadcaster IRIB reported.

The arrests come as Iran faces the reimposition of sanctions by the US on Tuesday, following Washington’s withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear agreement.

Meanwhile, protests driven by water shortages, the economy and anger at the political system have been reported around the country.

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