Rouhani arrives at the Iranian Parliament in Tehran.
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Iran's Parliament voted Tuesday to reject President Hassan Rouhani's explanations for economic hardship after a dramatic grilling on live TV, a sign his pragmatic faction is losing sway to hard-line rivals as new U.S. sanctions begin to bite.Rouhani won two landslide elections on a platform of economic reform and opening Iran up to the outside world, and his pragmatic supporters have a majority in the Parliament.There were conflicting reports about what would follow from the vote – several Iranian news agencies said Rouhani's case would now be referred to the judiciary, although the spokesman for the parliamentary leadership, Behrouz Nemati, said lawmakers must hold further discussion before that would take place.While Rouhani and his Cabinet run Iran's day-to-day affairs, ultimate authority lies with the Supreme Leader, 79-year-old Ayatollah Ruhollah Ali Khamenei, in power since 1989 .Rouhani said such anti-government protests had encouraged Trump to try to provoke more unrest by harming Iran's economy.
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