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Rouhani calls for unity to face U.S. pressure

Reuters DUBAI (Reuters) — President Hassan Rouhani called on Saturday for unity among Iran’s political factions to overcome conditions that he said may be harder than those during the 1980s war with Iraq, state media reported, as the country faces tightening U.S. sanctions.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday urged Iran’s leaders talk with him about giving up their nuclear program, and said he could not rule out a military confrontation.

Trump made the offer as he increased economic and military pressure on Iran, moving to cut off all Iranian oil exports this month, while beefing up the U.S. Navy and Air Force presence in the Gulf. Washington also approved a new deployment of Patriot missiles to the Middle East, a U.S. official said on Friday.

“Today, it cannot be said whether conditions are better or worse than the [1980-88] war period, but during the war we did not have a problem with our banks, oil sales or imports and exports, and there were only sanctions on arms purchases,” Rouhani said, according to the state news agency IRNA.

“The pressures by enemies is a war unprecedented in the history of our Islamic revolution ... but I do not despair and have great hope for the future and believe that we can move past these difficult conditions, provided that we are united,” Rouhani told activists from various factions.Speech

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