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U.S. President Donald Trump has signaled support for anti-government protests in Iran, but in two weeks he faces a decision on U.S. policy toward the Islamic Republic that suddenly seems riskier than it did a week ago. The six days of demonstrations in several Iranian cities began over economic conditions, and Trump must decide by mid-January whether to continue waiving U.S. sanctions on Iran's oil exports under the terms of an international nuclear deal.Reviving sanctions on Iran's main export would allow Tehran to argue that the United States is ultimately the cause of Iran's economic problems, Richard Nephew said, who worked on sanctions policy at the White House under President Barack Obama.Takeyh and three U.S. officials who follow Iran said the protests undercut Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, a relative moderate who took office in 2013 pledging to better Iran's economy, more than they threaten Iran's religious scholars.Nauert suggested the U.S. government could impose sanctions against Iranian officials who repress peaceful protests.
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