Ayatollahs take drastic action to withstand US sanctions

The Iranian government’s decision last month to increase gasoline prices by half prompted the worst unrest since the Islamic revolution in 1979.

By World Israel News Staff 

U.S. sanctions are taking a severe toll on Iran and the Islamic Republic is taking drastic economic measures to withstand the pressure.

Tehran is to increase taxes, borrow more money and cut energy subsidies, as President Hassan Rouhani vowed on Sunday that Iran could withstand “the pressure wrought” by the tough American sanctions and the most violent unrest seen in decades, the Financial Times reported this week.

Iranian oil revenues are expected to fall by 70 percent, the British-based news outlet reports.

The budget for the next Iranian fiscal year “is designed to resist sanctions and to announce to the world that we run this country despite sanctions,” Rouhani told parliament, as noted by the Financial Times.

Tehran was granted some relief on Friday when “European parties to the 2015 nuclear deal…demanded that Iran stop taking steps away from the accord but stopped short of triggering a mechanism that could renew United Nations sanctions, during a rare meeting between the pact’s remaining signatories,” Al Jazeera reported.

“The Iranian government’s decision last month to increase gasoline prices by half prompted the worst unrest since the Islamic revolution in 1979. Hundreds of thousands of Iranians took to the streets, prompting a severe crackdown. Amnesty International put the number of deaths at 208,” the Financial Times reported.

“Despite the unrest, Tehran is sticking with its plan to reduce subsidies on energy and also expects to cut subsidies for gas, electricity and petrol as well as fuel for petrochemical plants,” it adds.

Speaking with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at his side, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated last week that “Iran’s aggression is growing, but its empire is tottering. And I say: let’s make it totter even further.”