Iran’s leaders fall into line behind nuclear accord

The New York Times reports: Since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, Iranian hard-liners have been free to take to the streets and object to any form of compromise with the West, and particularly the United States.

But when a conspicuously small group of hard-liners did so on Tuesday morning in front of the Parliament building, holding up placards and shouting slogans against the nuclear framework agreed to last week in Lausanne, Switzerland, the Iranian Interior Ministry condemned the demonstration as illegal, because the protesters had failed to obtain a permit. There were also very few reporters.

It was perhaps the first time that conservatives — in this case mostly young people genuinely disappointed over the compromises Iran has made to reach a nuclear agreement — seemed disconnected from the power structure here.

Analysts say the message from the top is clear: Get with the program. Senior officials, important clerics, lawmakers and Revolutionary Guards commanders, who in the past have reflexively opposed any accommodation with the West, now go out of their way to laud Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his team of negotiators, as well as the government of President Hassan Rouhani.

On Tuesday, Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, the highest-ranking commander of the Revolutionary Guards Corps, joined the chorus. “The Iranian nation and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps thank these dear negotiators for their honest attempts and political jihad, and for their resistance on the defined red lines,” the semiofficial Mehr news agency quoted him as saying. [Continue reading…]

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