Unsurprisingly, President Rouhani’s phone call with Barack Obama — the first high-level contact between US and Iranian leaders since 1979 — has aroused much excitement and comment in the Islamic Republic.
Most of the reaction has been favorable, including the support of more than 200 of Iran’s 290 MPs in a motion praising Rouhani, but there has also been grumbling. Hard-line publications such as Keyhan and Raja News scolded the President.
More importantly, so did the head of the Revolutionary Guards, Mohammad Ali Jafari, “He should have turned down a phone conversation until after the American government has shown its sincerity.”
On Monday, the Supreme Leader’s office made a notable intervention. The outcome: Rouhani 1, Guards 0.
Ayatollah Khamenei’s senior advisor Ali Akbar Nategh Nouri, without naming the Guards, said :
Some of those who criticized do not pay attention to the point that the trip to New York was primarily to untie the knot of the problems of the people and the system.
In the matter of the telephone conversation between the two Presidents, the Revolution’s value, fundamentals and basics were also not violated or trampled. In any case, they [the US] requested this meeting. Why don’t those who oppose it point out that during the trip the American President’s numerous requests to meet with Iran were denied by Iran, and that the media wrote that this matter humiliated Obama?
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