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Iranian president calls on Mideast nations to repel U.S.

By Clyde Hughes
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani attends a ceremony Thursday marking the annual National Army Day in Tehran, Iran. Photo by Abedin Taherkenreh/EPA-EFE
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani attends a ceremony Thursday marking the annual National Army Day in Tehran, Iran. Photo by Abedin Taherkenreh/EPA-EFE

April 18 (UPI) -- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani commemorated National Army Day Thursday by calling on Mideast nations to collectively oppose the United States for supporting Israel.

Rouhani spoke during the national observance, which was marked by parades lauding Iranian armed forces -- including the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which was branded a "terrorist" organization by the United States this month.

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Rouhani said U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Yemen has sowed "misery, agony and carnage."

"The region's nations have lived alongside each other for centuries and never had a problem," he said. "If there is a problem, it is caused by others."

The Iranian leader said the U.S. decision to designate the IRGC as terrorist is an insult.

"All people stood in unison by the IRGC and will continue to stand by it because the IRGC has always been and will remain at the nation's side," Rouhani said.

He said the U.S. is "angry" the IRGC has successfully protected Iran in the 40 years since the Iranian Islamic revolution that overthrew the U.S.-backed shah.

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The U.S. administration said in its designation last week the IRGC has used its status as a legitimate military organization to support and participate in terrorist activities. This week, Iranian lawmakers responded by designating U.S. forces in western Asia as terrorist. The Iranian measure target U.S. Central Command, which operates in the Middle East and central Asia.

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