Rouhani: Iran facing toughest times in 40 years

The Iranian president speaks of economic hardships amid periodic worker protests, insisting the Islamic government cannot be blamed. 

By David Jablinowitz, World Israel News

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday that his country is dealing with the most significant economic pressures it has faced in the past 40 years.

“Today our problems are primarily because of pressure from America and its followers. And the dutiful government and Islamic system should not be blamed,” Rouhani said at an event leading up to the 40th anniversary of the country’s revolution, according to the Reuters news agency.

The Iranian Revolution was a series of events in January and February of 1979 involving the overthrow of the monarch of Iran, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, and replacing his government with an Islamic republic under the Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

In describing the current difficulties, Rouhani was making a clear reference to the U.S. withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal reached between Tehran and six world powers, including the Obama administration, and the recent imposition of sanctions by the Trump administration.

The E.U. is working on circumventing the U.S. demand that it fall in line with the sanctions, laying the groundwork for a potential showdown between Washington and Europeans capitals.

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Some Iranian workers reportedly have held periodic protests in recent months as economic conditions have worsened in the country.

President Donald Trump and other administration officials have pointed to Iran’s economic hardship as proof that the pressure on  Tehran is working. The administration says that Iran continues to pose a threat to American security.

U.S. intelligence chiefs testified on Capitol Hill Tuesday that Iran has continued to abide by the terms of the nuclear agreement. Trump on Wednesday morning lashed out at those comments, calling the intelligence leaders “passive and naive.”