Donald Trump signed an executive order on Monday reimposing multiple sanctions on Iran after he pulled out of an international agreement concerning its denuclearisation.
The US President’s bellicose stance comes after he claimed the US’s policy was to levy “maximum economic pressure” on the Middle-Eastern nation.
In an interview with BBC’s Newsnight programme, Sayed Mohammad Marandi from the University of Tehran labelled Mr Trump’s approach as “economic warfare”.
He said: “People are unhappy with some of the policies — the economic policies — that have been pursued over the past few months by the Rouhani administration, but I think there is universal hostility towards Trump because he is waging economic warfare against Iran.”
The Iranian academic claimed the UK had its own domestic issues with Brexit, while Iran was forced to confront a barrage from a global superpower.
He said: “Now, we have a superpower that has a entered a deal with Iran — within the framework of the P5+1 — and it tears up the agreement.
“And now, it’s trying to impose what Trump calls ‘brutal sanctions’, so obviously, it is going to hurt the economy.
“And people are suffering — that is the intention of the US government.”
Rudy Giuliani delivers his speech at the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) meeting
Officially inflation in Iran is at 10 percent, but according to calculations at Johns Hopkins University, real inflation may be higher than 150 percent.
Oil prices are also set for an almost unprecedented hike, with the latest predictions warning they could reach $90 a barrel.
Mr Marandi revealed he didn’t think the contempt that existed among Iranians reflected any sense of illegitimacy towards the state.
He said: “Trump is very unpopular; he is unable to create the core sort of consensus that Obama was able to do.
“The United States is engaging in a trade war with the Chinese government — the Russians are under sanctions, the EU is in conflict with the Trump government, so it is going to be much more difficult for the United States.”
The academic admitted that although Iran had been living with sanctions for a long time, he was convinced the US would ultimately fail.
He said: “What it does is push Iran towards countries like China.”
Mr Marandi cited the fact that the yuan would be stronger in Iran as a result of Trump’s actions and that this would push Iran away from the US towards a future where Washington could no longer impose “financial warfare” through the dollar and financial institutions.
Meanwhile, Holly Dagres of the Atlantic Council said: “Trump is kind of in a conundrum right now because here he is putting universal sanctions on Iran — yes, they will hurt the economy; yes they will hurt the Iranian people, first and foremost — but he is kind of alone on this right now.”