Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Tuesday that the staggering 4o percent fall in the value of Iranian currency is in part being caused by harsh US-led economic sanctions, adding that the US is waging a “psychological war” on Iranians.
The US has imposed devastating economic sanctions on Iran over the past few years which has facilitated severe inflation, high unemployment, a decrease in trade and availability of essential foods and medical supplies.
Ahmadinejad was indeed correct that this is part of a “psychological war” the US is waging. The official line in Washington is that the measures are aimed at changing Iran’s policies on their nuclear program, but as a top US official told the Washington Post in January, the aim is to cause discomfort among the population to then stoke discontent with the regime.
When State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland was asked in a press briefing on Monday if it “bother[s]” her “that this may hurt the Iranian people,” she responded by saying it was Tehran’s problem.
“We want the Iranian people as well to understand that this is a direct response to the choices that their government has made,” she said, evading the moral question of harming millions of ordinary Iranian civilians for the sake of destabilizing the regime.