For note, I am skeptical of the “reformist” nature of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, as I believe the Ayatollah ultimately pulls the strings on nearly every political decision made in that country. That being said, some recent attempts to somewhat increase Iran’s standing with the West are drawing criticism from hard-line Islamists:
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Tens of thousands of demonstrators packed the streets Monday outside the former U.S. Embassy in Tehran in the biggest anti-American rally in years, a show of support for hard-line opponents of President Hassan Rouhani’s historic outreach to Washington.
Such protests occur every year outside the former embassy compound to mark the anniversary of the 1979 embassy takeover following the Islamic Revolution. But the latest demonstration is the largest in years after calls by groups such as the powerful Revolutionary Guard for a major showing, including chants of “death to America” that some of Rouhani’s backers have urged halted.
The crowds also send a message to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who cautiously has backed Rouhani’s overtures to the U.S. and efforts to end the impasse with the West over Tehran’s nuclear program.
Why is Rouhani reaching out to the United States to begin with? It’s my sincere belief that it represents a stall tactic while Iran continues to mature its nuclear weapons program. By embracing diplomacy, it takes the heat off the young regime while the underground work on proliferation continues. If anyone thinks that this regime, or any regime under Ayatollah Khamenei, will be different, I have some oceanfront property in Ohio to sell you.