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Trump threats over N deal muffle Iran reformists

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12th-Oct-2017       
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BBC Online  :
It was 10 days before the May 2017 presidential elections in Iran. A fired-up crowd of men in green shirts and women in purple headscarves packed a sports stadium in Tehran from floor to ceiling.
Not far from the former US embassy in the capital, they were waiting for the arrival of President Hassan Rouhani, who was campaigning for reelection.
Outside, thousands more were pushing and shoving, jockeying to get in.
As droves of people in purple armbands streamed into the Shiroudi Stadium, the afternoon heat continued to rise. Swirling exhaust fans were no match for the stifling humidity. Rouhani's campaign organisers started to distribute bottles of water, while supporters were frantically fanning themselves.
When Rouhani finally emerged on stage, the crowd roared his name, overpowering the thump of his campaign song. His voice was  
strained from campaigning.
Rouhani spoke of the country's aspiration for "freedom and reform". At times, he would stop to wipe off the sweat from his face.
Then came the repeated rallying cry of his supporters, even interrupting the president mid-speech. "Ma sabze, sabze, sabzim. Batoom banafshemoon kard."
"We are still green, but your batons have turned us purple," they said in unison, referring to Rouhani's purple campaign colour, the green colour that had dominated the reform movement during the 2009 election, and the police crackdown that followed.

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