Iran's top leader dismisses United States pressures as 'desperate' attempts

Marsha Scott
July 3, 2018

Giuliani, U.S. President Donald Trump's lawyer, on Saturday attended the annual meeting of an Iranian exile group called the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq near Paris.

A senior Israeli official commented that Italy's hesitations stemmed from a series of business contracts signed by Italian companies in Iran which are estimated to be worth billions of euros and could help Italy overcome its economic crisis.

The 2015 nuclear deal led by then US President Barack Obama waived an oil embargo against Iran by the European Union, and foreign companies began setting up shop in Iran.

In a change from Iran's generally anti-Semitic stance, Iranian protesters were chanting "Death to Palestine!"

Iran's rial has lost 40 percent of its value since President Donald Trump's decision on May 8 to pull the United States out of Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers and reimpose tough economic sanctions on Tehran.

Maryam Rajavi, the leader of the People's Mujahdeen of Iran (MEK) and president-elect of the NCRI, has been accused of being a ruthless leader of a cult which militarily supported Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, but supporters say she hopes to liberalise Iran through changes such as the abolition of the death penalty.

However, the US efforts to ban Iran's oil exports will be futile as it is not an easy task to block the country's crude from the global market, an Iranian oil official said Wednesday.

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Gingrich, Giuliani and other USA politicians have been well paid to speak at the annual Paris rally in recent years.

USA economic pressure on Iran is meant to turn Iranians against their government, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was quoted as saying on Saturday by his website. "The policy of the administration is to make sure that Iran never gets close to deliverable nuclear weapons". However, the protests earlier this year took place largely in Iran's provinces rather than in Tehran.

In May, Trump abrogated the 2015 worldwide nuclear deal with Iran and ordered a campaign of intense economic pressure, threatening sanctions against any foreign company doing business with Iran and calling for an end to trade in Iranian oil by November.

Iranians have been hit by rising prices, and record levels of unemployment have left a third of under-30s out of work.

Bazaar merchants, mostly loyal to the leadership since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, are angry at what they see as the government's muddled response to the crisis, which they said had sent prices soaring and made trading nearly impossible.

A report by The New Yorker in 2012 revealed that the United States had covertly trained MEK members in Nevada during the Bush administration, an operation that required the utmost secrecy due to the organization's official classification as terrorist.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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