Citizens of Iran took to the streets to hold anti-government protests. The deteriorating economy which had taken a beating from U.S.- imposed sanctions ignited these unprecedented demonstrations, with people chanting “Death to the dictator! Death to Khamenei! Death to Rouhani!” and “Islamic regime must get lost!”
According to a senior official of Trump administration, sanctions that were recently restored against Iran were devised to diminish Iran’s revenues which are being used to finance “terrorists, dictators, proxy militias, and the regime’s own cronies.”
On Monday, U.S. President Donald Trump signed the executive order to reinstate sanctions that were previously lifted in 2015 under the nuclear deal with Obama administration.
The new sanctions target Iran’s purchases of US dollars, automotive sector, metals industry, coal and industrial software. The next target in November is aimed at Iran’s oil trade and central bank.
On Tuesday, President Trump tweeted:
“The Iran sanctions have officially been cast. These are the most biting sanctions ever imposed, and in November they ratchet up to yet another level. Anyone doing business with Iran will NOT be doing business with the United States.”
He added, “I am asking for WORLD PEACE, nothing less!”
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani condemned the sanctions:
“They want to launch psychological warfare against the Iranian nation. Negotiations with sanctions don’t make sense.”
“If you stab someone with a knife and then you say you want talks, then the first thing you have to do is remove the knife,” Rouhani added. “We are always in favor of diplomacy and talks … but talks need honesty.”
Rouhani also mentioned in an interview that he doesn’t have “preconditions” for talks with US government and instead relies on support coming from China and Russia.
As the Iranian’s economy continue to slide, more and more people gather to air their protests and demands. The reinstating of sanctions is a big blow to an economy which has been suffering already from previous sanctions, mismanagement and corruption. Analysts are now wondering if these ongoing protests will lead to a change of ruling regime.