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Rouhani Accuses United States Of Seeking Regime Change In Iran

Iranian President Hassan Rohani (file photo)

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says the United States is seeking regime change in Tehran.

Speaking at a ceremony to mark the beginning of the new academic year at Tehran University on October 14, Rouhani accused the U.S. government of employing tactics such as psychological and economic warfare to spark a change of leadership in Iran.

In the speech, broadcast live on state TV, Rouhani also said the United States is raising questions about the legitimacy of the Islamic republic as a means to pursue regime change.

"Reducing the legitimacy of the system is their final goal," he said.

The U.S. administration has been ratcheting up pressure on Tehran since President Donald Trump decided in May to pull the United States out of a 2015 nuclear deal that lifted sanctions in exchange for curbs on Tehran's nuclear activities.

The United States also reimposed sanctions against Iran, with a second round targeting Iran's oil sector due to take effect on November 5.

The deal with six world powers provided Iran with some relief from sanctions in return for curbs on its nuclear program.

The others who signed the pact – Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and China – have vowed to remain in the deal.

The move was harshly criticized by Iran.

Rouhani has said that the pressure from its rival has strengthened national unity in the country.

Based on reporting by Reuters and Mehr