01/03/2012 03:23 EST | Updated 03/03/2012 05:12 EST

Iran Currency Plunge: 12 Per Cent Drop Not Linked To Latest Sanctions, Foreign Ministry Says

TEHRAN, Iran - Iran says the new record low of the national currency to the U.S. dollar is not linked to the latest sanctions from the United States targeting the country's central bank.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast on Tuesday insisted there "is no relation" between the two. He says the American sanctions "have yet to be put into practice."

The Iranian currency's exchange rate hovered late Monday around 18,000 riyals to the dollar, marking a roughly 12 per cent slide compared to Sunday's rate of 15,900 riyals to the dollar.

President Barack Obama on Saturday signed into law a bill targeting Iran's central bank as part of the West's efforts to pressure Tehran over its nuclear program. It goes into effect in six months.