Iran's leaders seek ways to defend economy from US sanctions

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Trump's personal lawyer and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said, as quoted by Reuters: "We are now realistically being able to see an end to the regime in Iran".

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei while speaking after three days of protests said the USA sanctions were aimed at turning Iranians against their government.

Giuliani called for a boycott of companies "that continually do business with this regime".

Denouncing the current economic pressures on Iran as a hostile plot for making the Iranians discontented, the Leader said, "By God's grace, we will boost bonds with people day by day, and strengthen the pious, motivated and pragmatic youth with our enemy-shattering unity".

He added that the three European signatories of the nuclear agreement and the EU had promised to offer a package of practical steps that would fulfill Iran's demands, including on oil sales, payments for its oil and transportation.

In May, Trump announced his withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Iran, a decision criticized by the global community, including Washington partners such as France, Germany and Britain.

Maryam Rajavi, [Eds: a woman] leader of the People's Mujahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), told reporters: "Regime change in Iran is within reach as never before, a bright future without execution, torture, discrimination, and suppression".

Since the United States president pulled Washington out of the historic nuclear deal, European countries have been scrambling to ensure that Iran gets enough economic benefits to persuade it to stay in the deal.

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On May 8, US President Donald Trump announced Washington's decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal as it, in his words, leaves Iran a possibility to create a nuclear bomb bypassing all the restrictions.

Meanwhile, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei has underlined that any decision to keep the JCPOA running without the U.S. should be conditional on "practical guarantees" from the Europeans.

"With severe economic pressure ahead of us, the protests will not die easily", said an Iranian diplomat in Europe.

Already French companies Total and Peugeot, for example, have said they will pull out of Iran rather than risk being shut out of the US financial system, as Washington threatens to use the dollar's reserve currency status to punish anyone who gets in the way of its ramped-up Iran policy.

On Monday, traders at Tehran's Grand Bazaar staged a rare strike following earlier reports of street protests in provincial cities.

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

The People's Mujahideen were founded in the 1960s against Iran's royalist government and went on to fight the Islamic regime after the 1979 revolution.