Iran Blames Economic Conspiracy as Criticism Grows
Iran will defeat a “conspiracy” against its foreign currency and gold markets, an adviser to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Friday, with pressure mounting on the authorities to deal with the rapid collapse of the rial.
Riot police fought demonstrators and arrested money changers in and around the Tehran bazaar on Wednesday during protests triggered by the fall of the Iranian currency, which has lost a third of its value against the dollar over the last ten days.
Protesters called President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a traitor because of what many say is his serious mismanagement of the economy, which has been badly hit by U.S. and European sanctions imposed over Iran’s nuclear programme.
There has so far been no public criticism of Khamenei, the Islamic Republic’s most powerful authority.
“Iran is overcoming the psychological war and conspiracy that the enemy has brought to the currency and gold market and this war is constantly fluctuating,” said close Khamenei ally Gholam Ali Haddad Adel, according to Fars news agency.
“The arrogant powers…think the nation of Iran is ready to let go of the Islamic revolution through economic pressure but we are establishing Iran’s economic strength,” he said.
Iranian media reported harsh words for Ahmadinejad’s government at Friday prayer sermons across the country.
“In my view only a small percentage of the economic problems and inflation is related to the enemy sanctions and the main reason is the erroneous economic policies,” said Ayatollah Seyed Yousef Tabatabai-Nejad in Esfahan, Mehr news agency reported.