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Iran's Rouhani accuses U.S. of trying to change clerical establishment

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Iran's Rouhani accuses U.S. of trying to change clerical establishment
FILE PHOTO: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani attends talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Sochi, Russia, 14 February 2019. Sergei Chirikov/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo   -   Copyright  POOL New(Reuters)
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DUBAI (Reuters) – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani accused the United States on Wednesday of plotting to use economic pressure to overthrow the Islamic republic’s clerical establishment, and ruled out the possibility of talks with Washington.

“Iran is in economic and psychological war with America and its allies … their aim is to change the regime … But we will not allow it as our nation and the leadership are united against our enemies,” Rouhani said in a speech in the northern province of Gilan.

Tensions have grown between Iran and America after President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from a 2015 multinational agreement on curbing Iran’s nuclear programme in May. Trump said the agreement was flawed because it did not curb Iran’s ballistic missiles programme or its support for proxies in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Iraq.

Washington re-imposed sanctions on Iran that were lifted in 2016 under the deal.

The European signatories of the deal, Russia and China are opposed to the U.S. decision to re-impose oil and financial sanctions on Iran and have been trying to salvage the agreement.

(Writing by Parisa Hafezi; editing by Andrew Heavens, Larry King)

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