The latest round of sanctions against Iran is having a growing impact and is biting much more in recent weeks, CIA Director David Petraeus said Tuesday at a Senate intelligence committee hearing.
"The sanctions have been biting much, much more literally in recent weeks than they have until this time," he said.
The United States imposed the harshest sanctions so far on Iran due to concerns over its nuclear program.
"What we have to see now is how does that play out, what is the level of popular discontent inside Iran, does that influence the strategic decision making of the Supreme Leader and the regime, keeping in mind that the regime's paramount goal in all that they do is their regime survival," Petraeus said.
Saudi Arabia's oil production appears to be "ramping up" and can fill some of the demand shortfalls caused by sanctions on Iranian exports, Petraeus added.
China has reduced its imports of Iranian oil and "it remains to be seen whether that continues. It appears that Saudi Arabian production is ramping up and can fill some of the demand that might have been met by Iranian exports now that there are the sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran," Petraeus said.
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