The United States ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley says "Iran is feeling the pain" from sweeping sanctions revived by President Donald Trump.
"They feel weak and we are suffocating them to the point that they have to address ballistic missiles; they have to address their support on terrorism," Haley told Fox News.
The United States pulled out of the nuclear deal with Iran in May, and in August Trump re-imposed the sanctions on Iran that were lifted following the 2015 nuclear deal with the West.
The impact of sanctions on Iran's ailing economy has been dramatic. Rising prices, and high inflation coupled with unemployment and widespread corruption and mismanagement has crippled the economy. Foreign investors have left the country and people and businesses fear a new round of sanctions to start in November would hit Iran's banking system and oil export so hard that even importing the nation's essential needs would be difficult.
Elsewhere in the interview, Haley said, "Our focus right now is on the Iranian people," Haley said, acknowledging the unrest in the country. "I mean, they have protested, they have spoken out, they have said they want a better life. ... But at the end of the day, we can’t allow them to have any nuclear programs."
According to Fox News, responding to reports that former Secretary of State John Kerry may be telling foreign countries to wait out Trump's administration, Haley said, "They can wait this president out, but this president is what saved us with this policy. Because otherwise, within just a few years, they would have gotten all this money and it would have been lifted anyway," she said, referring to the sunset clause of the Iran deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).