Iran has threatened to fight back against the “economic war” waged by its “enemy” the US as more than 60 people were arrested in a drive against financial crime.

Special Islamic revolutionary courts were being set up to try suspects quickly after supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called for “swift and just” legal action to confront an “economic war” by foreign enemies.

Iranian authorities have arrested 67 people in a drive against financial crime, as the country faces renewed US sanctions and a public outcry against profiteering and corruption.

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.

The cost of living has also soared, sparking sporadic demonstrations against profiteering and corruption, with many protesters chanting anti-government slogans.

Judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei said: “Our enemy America has decided to put pressure on people and it intends to put our economy under pressure, but to no avail.

“There are individuals who try to use this opportunity and hoard basic goods and increase pressure on people by hoarding and smuggling.

“Sixty seven suspects have been arrested, some of whom were released on bail, and more than 100 people including government employees and officials, as well as private employees and others have been given travel bans.”

The central bank and the judiciary have blamed “enemies” for the fall of the currency and a rapid rise in the price of gold coins.

Those arrested included a former central bank deputy, and some faced charges carrying the death penalty, the judiciary said.

Iran has accused arch-foes, the US and Israel, as well as regional rival Saudi Arabia and government opponents living in exile, of fomenting the unrest and waging an economic war to destabilise the nation.

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.

Last 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.

It comed as the UK was been told to follow Mr Trump’s lead and quit the Iran nuclear deal rather than standing by the European Union (EU).

The US’ Ambassador to the United Kingdom has labelled Britain the US’ “closest ally” and urged the UK to stand with America over its stance on Iran after Donald Trump terminated the 2015 nuclear agreement.

Source » express