Iranians chant 'Death to Palestine' at economic protests in Tehran

Valiollah Seif the governor of the Central Bank of Iran

Valiollah Seif the governor of the Central Bank of Iran

"They (the USA officials) want to create fear in the hearts of the (Iranian) people by a psychological war and increase economic pressure through... imposing sanctions against banks", Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi said during a meeting with a number of Iranian judges in Tehran on Sunday.

The AP also reported that in the midst of this, hardliners, many of whom were opposed to the JCPOA, have called for new elections in Iran or to replace President Hassan Rouhani's civilian government with a military-led one.

Protesters clashed with police in Tehran during the currency protest, witnesses said.

Iran has faced mounting economic woes since the United States in May pulled out of a 2015 nuclear accord between Tehran and world powers that lifted worldwide sanctions in exchange for a scaling back of the Islamic republic's atomic programme. Iran's semi-official ISNA news agency described the protests as erupting after the Iranian rial dropped to 90,000 to the dollar on the country's black market, despite government attempts to control the currency rate. The bazaar merchant class are traditionally known for protests and played an integral role in the 1979 revolution.

A dollar is now worth as much as 90,000 rials, compared with 65,000 rials just before Mr Trump's announcement and 42,890 at the end of 2017.

Videos posted to social media showed protesters chanting: "Death to Palestine", "No to Gaza, no to Lebanon" and "Leave Syria and think of us".

Monday's protests come just days after two of Tehran's largest shopping centres were forced to close due to economic protests. The Iranian currency, the rial, has plunged against the dollar, inflation was 9.7 percent in May, and the country is in the throes of a credit crisis, Bloomberg said.

Mehrdad Emadi, an Iranian economist who heads energy risk analysis at London's Betamatrix consultancy, said the sanctions threat was strengthening interests in the Iranian government that favored tighter state control of the economy.

"Their demands are delivered through the chamber to the government, and these are being pursued by us".

The government is justifying its latest clampdown on imports by citing economic security.

The International Monetary Fund estimated in March that the government held $112 billion of foreign assets and reserves, and that Iran was running a current account surplus. Indian government sources told Reuters last week that New Delhi was looking to revive a rupee trade mechanism to settle part of its oil payments to Iran, fearing foreign channels to pay Tehran might close.

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