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US seeks to erode popular support for Iranian government: Analyst

This combination of file photos shows US President Donald Trump (L) and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

The administration of US President Donald Trump has mounted a pressure campaign against Iran to erode popular support for the Islamic Republic and "subvert" the government in Tehran, says an analyst.

“It’s very clear the policies of Washington are going on two tracks: One is to try and subvert the [Iranian]  government by making pressure on the government to undermine popular support for policies of the government,” said James Petras, an American writer and academic in New York.

“The other is to subvert the government through enticing them into negotiations on the basis of President Trump’s new agenda,” Petras said in an interview.

In the meantime, Washington is putting pressure on Tehran to abandon its regional alliances and end its support for resistance movements like Hezbollah.

“I think this is not very effective because that puts nothing on the agenda that’s any different from what the [US] government has been doing up to now which is to impose sanctions and to threaten Iran with military pressures,” Petras said.

On Saturday, President Hassan Rouhani said the US is constantly sending messages to Tehran to begin negotiations and trying to pressure the Iranian people at the same time.

"Not a fortnight goes by without a new message coming for us, saying 'we want negotiations here and there and that we want to resolve the issues'," he said in Tehran.

"Which one should we believe? Your soft messages, or your brutal acts? If you are truthful and like the Iranian nation, why are you pressuring them?" Rouhani said, addressing US leaders.

Rouhani said the US was waging an economic and media war against Iran, adding American leaders were wrong if they thought pressures would make the Islamic Republic bend.

In May, Trump pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and promised to impose the most restrictive economic sanctions on Tehran. His administration has also launched an aggressive pressure campaign of speeches and online propaganda to foment unrest in Iran.

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