Editor’s Note: The following report is excerpted from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin, the premium online newsletter published by the founder of WND. Subscriptions are $99 a year or, for monthly trials, just $9.95 per month for credit card users, and provide instant access for the complete reports.

WASHINGTON – The cleric ruling elite remains in firm control of Iran, even though U.S. and Western sanctions were designed to halt Iran’s nuclear development program and encourage a regime change, according to a report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

Iran has held fast in its determination to continue its nuclear development program despite the threat of a military attack from Israel, the United States, or both.

Iran insists that it has a right to enrich uranium for its nuclear program, since it is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and is a member of the nuclear watchdog group, the International Atomic Energy Agency.

According to sources in Iran, the sanctions aren’t affecting Iran’s forward progress on its nuclear program and it isn’t dislodging the clerics that rule the Islamic republic.

Instead, the sanctions are severely affecting the average Iranian citizen to the point that they are creating animosity toward the U.S., just the opposite reaction that was expected by the U.S. in imposing the sanctions in the first place, these sources say.

One source in Iran told WND/G2Bulletin that U.S. officials have referred to the U.S-led sanctions against Iran and Syria as being politically motivated, constituting a “soft war” against the “80 million people of Iran and the 23 million people in Syria in order to achieve regime change.”

In referring to former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, one source said that she had intended to target and send the Iranian people a message.

“So, we hope that the Iranian people will make known their concerns…so my message to Iranians is do something about this,” Clinton said.

“Some listening concluded she meant food riots and inflation riots to overthrow the Iranian government,” the source in Iran said. “An Australian Broadcasting Company interviewer asked Clinton on January 31 of last year: ‘If you have issues with the government of Iran, why destroy the Iranian people with the current sanctions in place? It’s very difficult to find certain medicines in Iran. Where is your sense of humanity?'”

In that interview, Clinton reportedly responded that there were no sanctions against food and medicine.

The source in Iran said that the sanctions target the civilian population but the Iranian regime won’t be affected.

“This targeting of Iran’s and Syria’s civilian population by U.S.-led sanctions is a massive violation of the principles, standards and rules of international law and their most fundamental underpinnings which is the protection of civilians,” according to international lawyer Franklin Lamb.

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