Protests are spreading in several Iranian cities, fueled by the re-imposition Monday of U.S. sanctions on the Islamic Republic against a backdrop of already spiraling economic conditions.
But while some in the Donald Trump administration have alluded to regime change as an aim of the punitive sanctions, the domestic fallout is unlikely to shake the government's hold on power, Iran experts say.
Hundreds are rallying to demonstrate against hyperinflation, caused by the anticipated reinstatement of restrictions and economic mismanagement on the part of the regime. Demonstrators in some towns have attempted to set fire to buildings, with scores detained over the weekend and at least one person killed.
The Iranian rial hit a record low of more than 119,000 to the dollar this month, and has lost 80 percent of its value in the past year. The prices of basic goods — if they can be found — go up by the hour, and people are stockpiling.
All this began before the sanctions went into effect. Now, as the first volley of U.S. sanctions makes landfall, Iran is seeing its auto and airline sectors sanctioned and will no longer be able to purchase U.S. dollars or trade in gold and other precious metals.