Iranian Hardliners Celebrate Trump's Nuke Deal Decision
Iranian hardliners who had long argued that America couldn't be trusted to live up its international obligations joined US Neocons in celebrating President Trump's decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal. They will now push Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to take a harder line with Washington and make it difficult for him to negotiate any new agreement to limit Iran's nuclear program.
The Guardian: Sadeq Zibakalam, a prominent political commentator and professor of politics at Tehran University, struck a pessimistic tone about the consequences of Trump’s decision in Iran.
“Many people are worried about war,” he told the Guardian by phone from Tehran. “Whenever the country faces a crisis in its foreign policy or economy, the situation gets better for hardliners, they’d be able to exert their force more easily.”
He added: “At the same time, hardliners will gain politically from this situation, because they’ll attack reformists and moderates like [President] Rouhani that this is evidence of what they had been saying for years, that the US cannot be trusted, and that the US is always prepared to knife you in the back.”
But, for now, Rouhani will negotiate with the other signatories to the agreement to see if they can forge a deal without America which would allow Iran to see some benefit from continuing to live up to its obligations under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, despite renewed US sanctions.
Radio Free Europe: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said he had ordered his diplomats to negotiate with China, Russia, Britain, France, and Germany in the coming weeks to determine whether Iran can keep benefiting from cooperation from those countries, which have all pledged to continue honoring the deal.
"If we achieve the deal's goals in cooperation with other members of the deal, it will remain in place," Rouhani said, although he also warned that Iran was ready to resume nuclear activities curbed under the deal in exchange for sanctions relief if the U.S. withdrawal made it impossible for Iran's economy to continue benefiting.
Despite such threats, in renewing sanctions, President Trump hopes to force Iran back to the negotiating table, but Rouhani may have a very hard time convincing Iran's Conservatives, its Revolutionary Guard and its Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, to become more pliant in future negotiations.