NEW: Supreme leader says Iran "will never surrender" to international pressures
NEW: The rial's value fell by half over a year, then took a further nosedive to historic lows
NEW: Analysts say it's too soon to know whether the sanctions will get Iran to negotiate
President Ahmadinejad blamed international "psychological warfare" and 22 Iranian "ringleaders"
Tehran, Iran #CNN# -- Iranian riot police swarmed a major bazaar Wednesday in Tehran as demonstrators launched protests against firebrand President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, blaming him for plummeting currency that's leaving families across the country struggling.
A day after Ahmadinejad acknowledged that his country is taking a hit, and placed the blame largely on "the enemy's" sanctions, crowds of protesters also took to the streets in another commercial area in the capital, shopkeepers said.
They chanted slogans slamming Ahmadinejad's regime and complained about the high prices of goods and food. Riot police dispersed the crowd, a shopkeeper said.
The country's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei echoed Ahmadinejad's position Wednesday, saying that growing pressures are mainly aimed at making his country surrender, "but the Iranian nation has and will never surrender to pressures and this has made the enemy furious," the semi-official FARS news agency reported.
The United States and European Union have imposed numerous sanctions aimed at pressuring Tehran into sitting down for international negotiations on its nuclear program. Earlier this week, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the falling value of the rial comes as "firms all over the world are refusing to do business with Iranian companies."
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