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On Monday, the US State Department spelled out a campaign of "maximum economic and diplomatic pressure" to drive Iran towards negotiating a "better" deal to replace the Iran nuclear deal.

To pile on the pain, Washington says all countries must end crude imports from Iran by November 4, hitting the oil sales that generate 60% of the country's income.

The U.S. State Department declined to comment.

The semi-official Fars news agency, which is allied to hardline Rouhani opponents and the elite Revolutionary Guards, published a news story focusing on Zonnour's claim about a citizenship deal. "If today these Iranians get deported from America, it will become clear who is complicit and is selling the national interest like candy to America".

Moreover, the Iran deal was notorious for secret side deals.

Zolnour claims that between 30 and 60 of these were relatives of senior Iranian officials.

President Trump appeared to confirm a report on Tuesday that Barack Obama's administration granted citizenship to 2,500 Iranians in 2015, including family members of government officials, while negotiating the Iran nuclear deal.

"President Donald Trump has since pulled out of the carefully negotiated deal, which he branded the 'worst deal ever, '" the Daily Mail noted. It comes as Mr. Trump pulled the USA out of Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers in May.

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Zolnour is a hardline member of Iranian parliament, who is helping lead an investigation on whether dual citizens have "infiltrated" Iran's government, according to Radio Farda, the USA -funded Iranian language news service.

"It should be stated exactly which children of which authorities live in the United States and have received citizenship or residency", Zolnour insisted in his interview, according to Fox News.

Mr. Rouhani is visiting Europe this week to step up pressure on the region to save the nuclear deal known officially as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was agreed to in Switzerland - with Iranian oil production emerging as a major issue.

As Fox News acknowledged, DHS figures show that the number of people born in Iran who received USA citizenship actually decreased by about 8 percent from 2015 to 2016, when the Iran deal went into effect.

Then on Friday in the Austrian capital, Iran's foreign minister will meet the top envoys from the five powers still party to the JCPOA - Britain, China, France, Germany and Russian Federation - according to Iranian state media.

Zolnour's allegations work to add fuel to the fire of the ongoing debate in Washington over Obama's failed dealings with Iran - with much evidence being stacked up against the 44th president that he was too easy on the militant Islamic nation and made far too many concessions to stay on friendly terms. Obama administration officials are vehemently denying it.

Zonnour told the reformist Iranian daily Etemaad: "When Mr Obama, during the JCPOA negotiations, made a decision to do a favour to these men [Rouhani and his aides], he granted citizenships to 2,500 Iranians and some officials competed with each other over whose children could be part of these 2,500 people". The U.S. accuses Iran of violating the accord's spirit through destabilizing activities the Middle East.

But while cries of "Death to the Dictator" resembled chants of "Death to the Shah" four decades ago in the bazaar, analysts and insiders ruled out any chance that Iran is once more on the brink of a seismic shift in its political landscape.


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