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Iran’s top leader defends hard-line approach toward West, blames protests on ‘thugs and villains’

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran’s supreme leader has defended his tough approach to the West, saying compromise would only invite further hostility from Iran’s enemies. He went on to blame recent anti-government protests on “thugs and villains.” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s remarks Sunday come amid an intensifying standoff with Western countries over Iran’s nuclear program, which has made major advances in the five years since the U.S. withdrew from an international accord that restricted it. Crippling U.S. sanctions on Iran have contributed to a severe economic crisis without forcing any concessions from its leaders. Khamenei blamed mass protests last fall on a foreign conspiracy that he said had failed to bring down the country’s theocracy.

Article Topic Follows: AP National News

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Associated Press


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