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The Latest: Iran says people will support Islamic Republic

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SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of — The Latest on reactions to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address (all times local):

7:20 p.m.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says the people of Iran will continue supporting the Islamic Republic despite foreign pressure.

His comments came just hours after President Donald Trump said the U.S. stands with the people of Iran against the country’s ruling establishment. Rouhani spoke during a visit to the mausoleum of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic.

Rouhani said in remarks broadcast by state TV: “The Iranian nation will never give up Imam Khomeini’s legacy; Islamism and Republicanism. Return is impossible.”

During his State of the Union address, Trump called the Islamic Republic a “corrupt dictatorship” and said “America stands with the people of Iran in their courageous struggle for freedom.”

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7:15 p.m.

China is calling on the U.S. to drop what it terms a “Cold War mentality and zero-sum ideology” following President Donald Trump’s describing Beijing as a rival in his State of the Union address.

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chuying says common interests outweigh differences between the sides and the U.S. should view the relationship “correctly.”

China’s $275 billion trade surplus with the U.S. has been a constant source of tension, alongside their growing rivalry for military supremacy in Asia and accusations of intellectual property theft.

Trump in his address warned of the dangers from “rogue regimes,” like Iran and North Korea, terrorist groups such as the Islamic State, and “rivals” like China and Russia that he said challenge U.S. interests, its economy and value system

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6:50 p.m.

South Korean analysts say President Donald Trump’s fiery comments on North Korea reflected confidence that his campaign of pressure and sanctions on the country is working.

Experts say it also means Washington will continue to deny Pyongyang meaningful dialogue unless it’s willing to discuss serious changes to its nuclear weapons program and human rights conditions.

Du Hyeogn Cha, a visiting scholar at Seoul’s Asan Institute for Policy Studies, says for North Korea, it has to hurt that Trump declared the country as a regime that cannot co-exist with the founding values of the United States.

Koh Yu-hwan, a North Korea expert at Seoul’s Dongguk University and a security adviser to South Korea’s presidential office, says Trump likely saw North Korea’s outreach over the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics as a clear sign that pressure and sanctions are working.

Thoook.com