A senior official of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has said that the goal of sanctions imposed against Iran by the West over its sensitive nuclear work is to push Iranians to revolt and bring the regime down.
Ali Ashraf Nouri, IRGC’s political deputy, said that U.S. strategy against Iran
is what he described as “outside pressure and inside collapse."
“The only hope of the enemies from the crippling sanctions is to break people’s tolerance threshold and force them [to take to the streets] like during the 2009 sedition,” Nouri was quoted as saying at a political gathering.
Sedition is the term Iranian officials use to describe the mass street protests against President Mahmud Ahmadinejad’s reelection, which presented the Islamic republic with one of its most challenging crises.
Nouri called on Iranians to resist the sanctions, which are making life for ordinary citizens increasingly difficult by increasing the cost of living and isolating the country internationally.
His comments are a clear indication of the growing concern among Iranian leaders about the impact of the sanctions.
In recent week, other officials have also called on Iranians to practice patience in the face of the tough sanctions, which include an EU embargo on the purchase of Iranian oil that came into effect on July 1.
In a rare acknowledgement
of the impact the sanctions are having on Iran’s economy, parliament speaker Ali Larijani said on July 17 that “only” 20 percent of the country’s economic problems are due to sanctions, without elaborating.
Last week, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei dismissed the new measures, claiming that Iran has become immune to Western sanctions.
-- Golnaz Esfandiari