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Revolutionary Guard Corps
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Iran's June 14 elections are expected to produce a president loyal to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei and not improve prospects for an end to the country's nuclear standoff with the West or its support for President Bashar Assad's embattled regime in Syria.
Iran, the strongest ally of embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad, hosted a gathering of countries for talks on how to end the civil war in Syria, as clashes between government troops and rebels raged Thursday in opposition bastions of besieged Aleppo.
Syria launched a ground assault Wednesday on rebel-held areas of the besieged city of Aleppo, the center of battles between government forces and opposition fighters for more than two weeks.
The Islamic fundamentalist regime in Iran has been at war with the United States for more than 30 years, but every administration from President Jimmy Carter's to the current one has tried to ignore it. Currently, the Obama administration is wrestling with the issue of Iran's drive to achieve nuclear weapons capability.
Tensions regarding Iran's nuclear program escalated as Tehran's armed forces staged exercises over the weekend and Iranian leaders vowed to retaliate against Western sanctions and any Israeli strike on the regime's atomic sites.
The Obama administration imposed new economic and travel sanctions on Iran's police and paramilitary forces for their role in violence against protesters after 2009 elections.