by Staff Writers
Las Vegas, Nevada (AFP) Oct 2, 2012
The White House said Tuesday that Iranians blame their leaders for rising deprivation caused by US and international sanctions stemming from Tehran's nuclear program.
Recent days have seen an accelerated slide in Iran's currency, the rial, which has now lost more than 80 percent of its value compared with a year ago -- with 17 percent of its value shed on Monday alone.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said the fast deteriorating economic situation in Iran, which has sparked price hikes in basic foods, was a sign that the government in Tehran was under "enormous pressure."
"There is no doubt, as we have seen in the last 36 hours ... that the sanctions regime that has been put in place ... has had a significant negative impact on the Iranian economy as was intended."
"The president believes and our partners believe that the sanctions regime is the right approach.
"The Iranian people are aware of who is responsible for the circumstances that have befallen the Iranian economy as a result of the regime's intransigence in its refusal to abide by its obligations."
Earlier, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad vowed that Iran would not back down on its nuclear program, despite the pain being caused by the sanctions.
"We are not a people to retreat on the nuclear issue," he told a news conference in Tehran.
"If somebody thinks they can pressure Iran, they are certainly wrong and they must correct their behavior," he said.
The rial slipped another four percent on Tuesday to close at 36,100 to the dollar, according to exchange tracking websites.
Ahmadinejad said the plunge was part of an economic "war" waged by the West on the Islamic republic and "a psychological war on the exchange market."
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