Iran – what happens next?

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According to The Wall Street Journal, the United States and the European Union plan to press Iran on the nuclear issue in the wake of Hassan Rohani’s election to the Iranian Presidency.

Here’s a WSJ article describing Rohani as a moderating force.

Near the end, the article says: “As he [Rohani] gained momentum, the campaign became a stand-in for the public’s grievances over the regime’s policies, from its nuclear negotiation tactics to its management of a declining economy strained by sanctions and lack of social freedom.” It seems like there might be some difference between what the Iranian public wants, hopes for, and expects in terms of change and reform and what President Rohani intends to deliver–and is able to deliver–because no matter what his intentions, the Iranian President is subservient to the Supreme Leader. (A sentiment I can see echoed in the AP story linked to below.)

Those seem like circumstances with the potential to create a crisis of rising expectations.

The WSJ  posted this interesting graphic illustrating the power relationships and structure of the Iranian government.

Ali Akbar Dareini of the AP published “Iran’s Rowhani urges ‘path of moderation'” this morning. Reading his story, it seems like  Rowhani’s proposed policy of moderation and greater openness about the Iranian nuclear program while refusing to consider halting uranium enrichment translates to “Talk-talk-talk, spin centrifuges, spin centrifuges, spin centrifuges.”

I hope there’s more cause for optimism than that.


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