Iran is on the brink of a “revolution”, an expert has warned, as furious protestors take to the streets in their thousands to chant “death to the dictator”.
Tensions have reached boiling point in the Middle East nation after US President Donald Trump slapped Iran with tough economic sanctions aimed at further undermining the Islamic fundamentalist republic
Measures which target cars, gold and other metals trading, as well as the government’s ability to buy US dollars, came into force on Monday.
The Iranian rial has lost half of its value against the US dollar on the unofficial market this year, while the price of fruit and vegetables has increased by 50 percent since the start of the year.
Now an ongoing currency crisis and high levels of unemployment has pushed Iran to the brink of the civil war, with thousands taking to the streets to demand regime change.
Hanif Jazayeri, of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, told how people are chanting on the streets and calling for the death of President Hassan Rouhani and supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
He warned people are waking up to realise that a “revolution is a real possibility”.
Mr Jazayeri told Mail Online: “We had protests in 2009 but these are different because people are calling for the death of the President and the Supreme Leader. They have broken a lot of taboos.
“The demonstrations are not just over economic issues but very quickly turned political due to the regime’s repression of the Iranian people with regard to women’s rights, freedom of speech and other basic freedoms.
“The chants are directed at the entirety of the regime and protesters are demanding regime change.
“The rial has lost 99 per cent of its value and people know the regime will not have a better situation to offer the people because of the new sanctions from the US.
“People are starting to wake up and see that revolution is a real possibility. I think there will be one.”
Iran has been marred by protests in recent months over issues ranging from water shortages to joblessness, and the Trump administration is partly motivated by a desire to trigger a popular uprising and consequent regime change.
In anticipation of the sanctions, wealthier Iranians have been stockpiling basic commodities and buying up gold and cars in an bid to protect the value of their savings.
This week Washington re-imposed sanctions on the Middle East nation’s purchases of US dollars, its trade in gold and precious metals, and its dealings with metals, coal and industrial-related software.
Despite opposition from European allies, Donald Trump in May pulled the US out of a 2015 deal between world powers and Tehran under, which international sanctions were lifted in return for curbs on Iran’s nuclear programme.
The Republican firebrand leader had denounced the deal reached under his White House predecessor, Barack Obama, as one-sided in Iran’s favour.
Washington’s so-called “snapback” sanctions were reinstated against Tehran on Monday morning after businesses were given 90 days to wind down their activities.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, speaking after returning from an Asian trip, said: “It’s an important part of our efforts to push back against Iranian malign activity.
“The United States is going to enforce these sanctions.”
Branding the Iranian government “bad actors”, Mr Pompeo warned Tehran it would “require enormous change” on Iran’s part for the US to review its approach.
Source » express