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Rouhani’s Battle With Iran’s Hard-Liners
As Iran prepared for the latest round of talks with world powers over the country’s nuclear program on Feb. 18, hard-liners in the country struck a posture at odds with the more open tone that has been adopted by the government of President Hassan Rouhani. On Feb. 12, the day after the country marked the 35th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution, Iranian media quoted the head of the country’s armed forces as saying that, if attacked, Iran was “ready for the decisive battle” against the U.S.
The remarks underscored the challenge that Rouhani faces as he tries to strike a balance between negotiating with the West–following an interim pact over the country’s nuclear program in November–and managing the pressure from hard-liners at home.