"Economic experts and many officials believe the cause of this issue is not foreign, it's internal. Not that sanctions don't have an impact, but the major impact is related to performances,” Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei told ordinary Iranians at a meeting in Tehran Monday.
Iran’s national currency has lost much of its value since the beginning of the year, especially after US President Donald Trump abandoned a nuclear deal with Tehran and announced new sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
“All people feel livelihood problems today. A section of the people is really under the pressure and the high prices of food, housing and other things are pressuring them,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
“The devaluation of the national currency is one of the current problems of the country's economy. When the price of the rial comes down, it is the daily-paid employee who ends up with nothing left,” the Leader added.
Iranians are bracing for new US sanctions, the first wave of which was unleashed by Trump last week, targeting Iran's financial, automotive, aviation and metals sectors.
The US president also pledged that the second wave will “ratchet up to yet another level" on November 4, hitting Iran’s oil and gas and banking sectors.
Ayatollah Khamenei said, “If the actions [by government officials] are better, more prudent and timely and stronger, the sanctions will not work much.”
The Leader touched on the turmoil in the foreign exchange and gold coins market, calling it the result of “imprudence and neglect” by certain officials who had government dollars end up in the hands of manipulators.
“This problem is related to management and executive policies,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
“When they distribute foreign currencies and coins in the wrong way, this distribution has two sides: one that takes it and the one that gives it. We are all after the one who takes it, while the main fault is with someone who gives it; we do not call it treason, but it is a big mistake,” the Leader said.