Washington - Hadeel Aweys
U.S. sanctions lead Iran regime to a dark tunnel

Iran is currently moving into uncharted path at the economical and political level. The US powerful sanctions are applied as of today. These sanctions aim at isolating the regime of the mullahs from its regional surrounding.
In conjunction with applying the US sanctions, massive demonstrations took to streets all over the Iranian provinces. Demonstrators chant slogans “Death to Khamenei”, “Down with Rohani” and symbols of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.
Washington is re-imposing sanctions on Iran following US President Donald Trump’s decision in May to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal. As of today, the Iranian regime will not be able to purchase US banknotes. In addition, other massive sanctions will be imposed on Iranian industries, including carpet exports.
The Iranian currency has been greatly affected by the ongoing tensions in Iran and it has lost more than half of its value since April. There is heightened concern over rising unemployment, inflation and the absence of reforms. The US sanctions are scheduled to be in two phases as of today. The first phase targets Iran's ability to buy dollars and key industries that include vehicles and carpets. The second phase will include holding Iranian crude sales, which is the most influential.
Having imposed the US sanctions, tension in Iran has increased and protests have been on the rise over the past few days. In statements made to “Riyadh” Roxana Ahi that is a second-generation migrant who fled regime of Khamenei and an expert on international affairs says: “Fear is dominating Iranian regime today as the first phase of sanctions enters into effect.” She added: “We have been hearing news about a collapse of new financial institutions in Iran a matter which prompts more Iranian people to take to streets because they believe that changing the incumbent Iranian regime will make Iranian live in dignity.”
Roxana describes the situation today in Tehran as “extraordinary” and expects the emergence of a violent reaction from the people and clashes between them and security forces. She also said that chaos and protests take place all the day round. In addition to the protests of the poorest class, middle and upper social classes whose businesses affected due to the corrupt Iranian regime have joined the ongoing protests. These demonstrations involved a different form after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on Iranians to protest and confirmed the US support for the Iranian demonstrators.
Roxana believes that “social mobility” has become more organized, cohesive and optimistic due to the US support. Radically-different ideological protests began to take to streets side by side with protests of the public. The most important thing that thwarted the demonstrations of “Green Movements” in 2009 was the silence of Obama administration and its reluctance to support the protestors a matter which facilitated crushing these movements by security forces.
On a personal level, Roxana is more optimistic about returning to Iran than ever. She says: “I admit that what I see today since I was born in late 1980s is totally different.” She pointed out that the Iranian regime is subject to isolation from those close to it. Trita Farsi, the head of the pro-Iranian lobby in Washington, has announced his resignation from the regime. Trita was the godfather of reconciliation between the Obama administration and the Iranian regime. He was also the most important Iranian actor who played a key role in persuading the United States to conclude a nuclear deal with Iran. High-level officials in Trump Administration including national security adviser John Bolton called for changing the Iranian regime.

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