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BEIRUT (Reuters) - Iran’s moderate president gave a full-throated defense of his one-time rivals in the Revolutionary Guards on Wednesday, as the country’s pragmatist and hardline factions rallied together in the face of threats from Donald Trump.
The U.S. president is expected to “decertify” Iran’s nuclear deal with global powers this week and add its Revolutionary Guards military force to Washington’s black list of terrorist groups under a strategy to increase pressure on Tehran.
Threat - US - Action - Factions - Iran
The threat of U.S. action has united the two main factions of Iran’s leadership, with the pragmatists led by President Hassan Rouhani who seek greater openness to the West demonstrating their support for the hardline Guards.
During a cabinet meeting shown on state television on Wednesday, Rouhani said U.S. action against the Guards would be a “mistake beyond mistakes”.
Guards - Entity - Guards - Entity - Heart
“They think that the Guards are a military entity. The Revolutionary Guards are not a military entity. They’re in the heart of the people. The Revolutionary Guards, in all the days of danger, have defended our national interests,” he said.
“We’re one society. We’re Iran. There are no differences between different factions in confronting the plots of our enemies,” he added.
Rouhani - Architect - Iran - Deal - Powers
Rouhani, the architect of Iran’s 2015 deal with global powers to curb its nuclear program in return for the lifting of international sanctions, won re-election in a landslide five months ago on a platform promising greater openness to the world and reform at home.
During an unprecedentedly bitter campaign, he repeatedly spoke out in public against the political influence of the Guards, accusing them of backing his hardline opponent to defend their economic interests.
Days - Threat - Action - Washington - Display
In recent days, however, the threat of new action from Washington has prompted a public display of unity from the rival factions among Iran’s rulers.
“Today, the president of America has created conditions where Iran is more united than...
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