The Christian Science Monitor

Why increased US pressure on Iran appears to be backfiring

President Trump’s escalation of anti-Iran rhetoric and increased US pressure against the Islamic Republic have been a boon to Iran’s noisy minority of hard-line, America-obsessed flag burners.

But the US campaign is doing more than strengthen the hard-liners. Amid a broader administration effort to deepen instability among Iranians torn by their own political and social divides, there are signs the Trump-led targeting of Iran may be backfiring, as Iranians coalesce against a foreign enemy.

One result is a newly belligerent anti-American tone from Iran’s centrist President Hassan Rouhani, who has advocated outreach to the West. Another is reconsideration by a sizeable portion of Iranians who – quietly, but unmistakably, for decades – have professed admiration for the American people and have long viewed America as a beacon of hope.

Administration officials

'Never, ever threaten'Solidarity with protesters'A limit to our patience'

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