Hooman Majd writes: Iranian president Hassan Rouhani may soon discover that negotiating a nuclear deal was the easy part of his job. He is likely to have a much more difficult time in office — with pressure from his opponents and his supporters — once the initial euphoria of a deal passes. Not only will he have to show that the nuclear deal does indeed better the lives of ordinary Iranians by drastically improving the economy, he will no longer have the excuse of the nuclear deal in delaying his other campaign promises. And he will still have his hardline opponents, even less willing to grant him another popular achievement, nipping at his heels on every issue, particularly any issue that relates to a loosening of social restrictions and building a new relationship with the U.S. in the aftermath of a deal.
With only days to go until the deadline to ink such a comprehensive nuclear deal with Iran — and this is a deadline that, unlike the others in the eighteen month long negotiations saga, will need to be adhered to, at least to within a few days — it’s safe to assume that a deal will be struck. My confidence is based on the political capital spent in both Washington and Tehran, the political will in both capitals to move past a crisis that has benefited neither party and the presumption in both capitals that the time for a nuclear deal is now or never.
On the brink of this historic agreement, it’s useful to ask “what next?” for Iran and more importantly, for Iranians. The future of this nation of some 80 million, sitting at the crossroads of the East and West, on top of bountiful energy supplies, and in the center of — if not a factor in — multiple regional crises with knock-on effects, is tied to the future of the entire world, whether we like it or not. [Continue reading…]