He said in an interview: “Also, over 20,000 GPs do not have private offices yet are active in the country’s administrative sections. These statistics are alarming.”

Factory closures are also soaring with one labor official telling the ILNA news agency on 15 May: “The dissolution and closure of the Iran Osveh industry and Alvand lamp factory with 32 and 53 workers respectively who are on the verge of retirement is against the law.”

A statement issued by the factories employers blamed a decline in sales and rise in the price of raw materials for the closures, and said there was no guarantee they would re-open.

Meanwhile the Director General of Central Bank’s money printing operations Majid Saneie said 200,000 new Rials bank notes would be printed.

He added: “Based on a review by the Central Bank’s Department of Economic Studies we need banknotes larger than 100 thousand Tomans.”

He told the state-run ISNA news agency: “Given that we have a limitation on printing banknotes and cannot get permission to print 500 thousand Rials notes, 200 thousand Rial notes will be printed.

He said the Central Bank had approved the plan, adding: “Following approval by the Ministry of Economy and Finance, we will attempt to print 200,000 Rials notes in the current year.”

The largest Iranian currency note is 10,000 Tomans – 100,000 Rials, equal to around US $2.7.