August 4, 2018
Sporadic Protests Break Out In Iran As U.S. Sanctions Loom

Hundreds of Iranians rallied in the cities of Tehran, Qom, Shiraz, Karaj, and others, to protest against high inflation, Reuters reports.

The most recent wave of protests in Iran comes following the collapse in the rial currency, caused by fears of the reimposition of U.S. sanctions scheduleded to go into effect on August 7, 2018.

In May, the United States pulled out of the Iran deal, and imposed a new set of sanctions on the country. As the New York Times reported, the Trump administration accused Valiollah Seif, the governor of the Iranian central bank, of funneling money to Hezbollah, naming him a "specially designated global terrorist."

"The United States will not permit Iran's increasingly brazen abuse of the international financial system. The global community must remain vigilant against Iran's deceptive efforts to provide financial support to its terrorist proxies," U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin said at the time.

Since then, Donald Trump has continued to maintain a hardliner stance on Iran, once threatening president Hassan Rouhani of Iran via Twitter. The administration has since made an effort to interfere in Iran's internal affairs. For instance, President Donald Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, and informal adviser, Newt Gingrich, spoke before a controversial Iranian opposition group on July 30, in Paris.

As the Inquisitr previously noted, the controversial group Giuliani and Gingrich addressed, Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, was formerly considered a terrorist group. The Guardian described the organization as a personality cult, and added that Rudy Giuliani openly called for regime change at the Paris conference.

While widespread anti-government protests tend to promise regime change, Reuters characterized ongoing protests in the Iranian cities of Tehran, Qom, Shiraz, and Karaj as scattered and sporadic. Footage obtained by the news agency shows marchers in central Tehran protesting against the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, chanting "Death to the dictator."

According to Reuters, protests often begin with slogans against financial corruption and the high cost of living, but quickly evolve into anti-government rallies. Road blocks and heavy police presence in the city of Karaj can be seen on the footage obtained by Reuters' journalists.

Via its official Persian-language Twitter account, the U.S. State Department expressed support for the people of Iran. However, on August 7, the sanctions against the country will be reimposed. Iran's trade in gold, precious metals, and its dealings with coal, metals, industrial-related software, as well as the country's purchases of U.S. dollars are expected to be hit the hardest.

Furthermore, Reuters noted, Iran's oil exports could fall by as much as two-thirds by the end of 2018.