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Iran questions US pivot back to region as Europe embraces Rouhani

While the United States is increasingly engaged in a war of words with Iran, the bigger story may be the impact Washington’s more hawkish line may have on Europe’s approach toward Tehran and the consequences of a suggested US pivot back to the Middle East not materializing.
Iranian president Hassan Rouhani gestures during a news conference in Tehran, Iran, May 22, 2017. TIMA via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. - RTX372F9

US President Donald Trump’s torrent of controversial remarks on Iran and the Middle East has sparked a variety of reactions in Tehran. In his first speech abroad, delivered from Saudi Arabia on May 21, Trump attacked the Islamic Republic and said he “prayed for the day when the Iranian people would have the just and righteous government they deserve.”

His words came shortly after Iran held its 12th presidential election with a 73% voter turnout. The May 19 election saw President Hassan Rouhani be re-elected with some 57% of ballots. Indeed, voters formed long lines outside polling stations both within Iran and abroad. Turnout was so high in some areas that people were unable to cast their ballots before voting ended, despite having waited in line for hours.

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