The Iranian rial exchange rate on Monday fell to 120,000 rials for $1.00 (compared with 65,000 rial back in May, which was considered disastrous at the time), and it’s expected to drop even more, as US sanctions go into effect Monday. Speaking for the administration on Sunday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that “the United States is going to enforce these sanctions,” explaining: “It’s an important part of our efforts to push back against Iranian malign activity,” he said of the sanctions.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani put on a brave face on Sunday, declaring he was confident that “financial problems are not connected with sanctions and US pressure.” And to prove his point, Iranian police arrested more than 30 people on suspicion of economic crimes that obviously caused the collapse of the national currency.
Maybe arrest the Revolutionary Guards, bring stop dumping billions into the terrorist network that spans the entire Middle East, and send home the North Korean and other foreign experts working on the missile and nuclear program – and see if the rial improves any.
Pompeo suggested the conditions for the current administration revoking the sanctions again would involve an “enormous change” on the part of the Iranian government. For one thing, he said, “they’ve got to behave like a normal country. That’s the ask. It’s pretty simple. We think that most other countries, everyone with whom I spoke, understands that they need to behave normally, and they understand that this is a country that threatens them.”
“We’re happy to talk, if there’s an arrangement that is appropriate, that can lead to a good outcome,” Pompeo said. “Perhaps that will be the path the Iranians choose to go down. But there’s no evidence today of a change in their behavior.”
“The Iranian people are not happy — not with the Americans but with their own leadership,” Pompeo noted. “They’re unhappy with the failure of their own leadership to deliver the economic promises that their leadership promised them.”
Hinting at the outcome many in the world desire, namely regime change in the Islamic Republic, the Secretary of State said, “This is just about Iranians’ dissatisfaction with their own government, and we want the Iranian people to have a strong voice in who their leadership will be.”
The National Council of Resistance of Iran on Sunday reported demonstrations in at least five cities, that included taunts against the religious and political leaders, as well as tire burning. Those five cities included Tehran, where “the people rallied in College Street at night while chanting: Death to the Dictator; Iranians rather die than tolerate humiliation. The protests of the youths at Vali-e Asr intersection spread to Hafez Ave. and below College Bridge. Protesters clashed with repressive forces. The people chanted: Iranians rather die than tolerate humiliation. The criminal plainclothes agents arrested a large number of youths.”