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Crumbling of nuclear deal boosts Iran hard-liners

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Across Iran, the hopefulness that followed the 2015 nuclear deal has been replaced by a rising hard-line fever with President Donald Trump's decision to pull America from the accord.

From lawmakers burning a paper U.S. flag on the floor of parliament to public opinion swaying toward restarting higher uranium enrichment, Iran is seeing a political swing threatening the Western rapprochement once sought by President Hassan Rouhani.

That's not to say Iran wants the deal to end. After Trump's announcement, Rouhani quickly sent his foreign minister to the other countries party to the accord for talks in order to save lucrative business contracts already in hand. But if the Islamic Republic feels there's no chance of salvaging the deal, jumpstarting the nuclear program remains within reach.

Distrust between the U.S. and Iran is nothing new. Rouhani himself offered a litany of complaints after Trump's speech about American interference in Iran, dating back to a 1953 CIA-backed coup that overthrew the country's elected prime minister. For the U.S., memories of the 1979 U.S. Embassy takeover and 444-day hostage still linger.

But while hard-liners shout "Death to America,"........

© Japan Today