US-Middle East relations — NRT Focus

Rouhani said at a news conference on Monday that stability could not be achieved in the Middle East without Tehran's help. The revolution was also young.

"They (Saudi leaders) act cordially towards the enemies of Islam while having the opposite behaviour towards the Muslim people of Bahrain and Yemen", Khamenei told a religious gathering, according to his Twitter account.

All of that sounds pretty good.

While those promises sound encouraging, Lake wrote, "there is no reason to believe Rouhani will deliver, or even try to deliver, on any of these promises".

There are a few reasons for this. So Rouhani is not just the "moderate" president, he is also the president of economic recovery. A lot of this has been documented by the Center for Human Rights in Iran. As with the Guard, Iran's president has no direct control over the courts.

Hard-line critics in parliament and elsewhere berated his administration as it worked to secure the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, which saw Iran accept curbs on its contested nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

"Rouhani will face more pressure in his second term". He is thought to have the tacit backing of Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who is the final authority in Iran's peculiar blend of democracy and theocracy.

Let us hope that is truly the case and that Rouhani's reformist agenda will succeed in both the economic and social arenas as well as in his foreign policy approach.

"The U.S. secretary of state's expectations of the Iranian president indicate the U.S. officials' non-understanding of the Islamic Republic of Iran", Jazzayeri was quoted as saying in the country's state-controlled press. It was Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Russian Federation. It is therefore expected that, to defend the reputation of his landmark nuclear deal, which took two dear years of his time, Rouhani would have to fix economy's missing links at home, something he is well aware of and determined to do. The US had done well to reauthorize waivers from nuclear related sanctions before the elections in Iran.

He was less flattering in his assessment of the Trump administration so far. It's true that turnout for the vote was high. The votes were sent to Iran via the Pakistani Embassy in Washington. It is no more prone to interfering in its neighbours than they are.

But Rouhani's interpretation of Iran's challenges is far more convincing.

Western journalists and analysts are hardly alone.

"We are picking one side in this geopolitical struggle, and there is very little room for gray", said Frederic Wehrey, a senior fellow in the West Asia Programme at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. That was during another election.

But Mr Ahmadinejad stole that election, and the state arrested thousands of citizens who had the temerity to take their grievances to the street. They know that Rouhani's re-election will not bring a dramatic transformation, but they also know that the election of Raisi might have threatened their hopes and ambitions. No matter what claims are made about the importance of religion, the real source of power in Iran continues to be money.

Equally troubling is the continuing grip of conservatives over key parts of the economy and the national power structure, in particular institutions within the national security apparatus.

It's understandable that Iranians forced to live under the thumb of the mullahs voted for the least-worst option.

Vanessa Coleman

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