A military advisor to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has said Iranians should fast Ramadan style to show “the enemy” they can resist its sanctions.
Hossein Dehqan (Dehghan) speaking February 1 at an event dubbed “The idea of resistance in Imam’s (Khomeini) school of thought”, said Iranians should follow the teachings of the founder of the Islamic Republic.
He added that “If America is sanctioning us and wants to keep us hungry”, the people should fast to show their resistance.
U.S. sanctions have brought the Iranian economy to a standstill, devaluing its currency fourfold and deepening the impoverishment of working-class people. This has led to consecutive protests, destabilizing the ruling regime.
Washington demands a new nuclear agreement that would guarantee Iran will never acquire atomic weapons. Iran, which says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, has refused so far to make any concessions.
Other influential leaders in Iran have also called for people to eat less to resisit the sanctions. A hardliner ayatollah, Ahmad Alamolhoda told people in a sermon last year that if they cannot afford chicken, they must eat a cheap omelet instead.
Last August, the Minister of Energy Reza Ardakanian said, “The Chinese eat once a day” and Iranians have a bad habit of eating more.
Ordinary workers who must live on a salary of around $100 a month resent this attitude and in nationwide protests last November both the government and the opposition said the fiercest demonstrations were in working-class neighborhoods of the capital.