The plunge of Iran’s currency shows the success of the “most punishing sanctions” ever amassed by the global community seeking to halt Tehran’s suspect nuclear program, a U.S. official said Monday, October 1, Agence France Presse reported. “From our perspective this speaks to the unrelenting and increasingly successful international pressure that we are all bringing to bear on the Iranian economy. It’s under incredible strain,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said. Iran’s currency weakened to 34,700 to the dollar by the end of Monday’s trading, a drop of 17 percent compared to the previous day’s rate of 29,600. The shriveling value of the rial is now contributing to fears in Iran of a severe inflationary spiral, as an increasing amount of rials are required to buy food, medicine and machinery needed from abroad.