The New Role of Rouhani’s Iran

By | December 16, 2021

Thanks to the nuclear deal, the country has emerged from the international isolation in which it found itself, but the instability of the surrounding regions may represent a risk factor for Tehran’s national interests. And for the balance of the whole world. For Iran government and politics, please check

Hassan Rouhani

With the signing – on 14 July 2015, in Vienna – of the historic nuclear agreement and with the subsequent revocation of the sanctions (16 January 2016), the Joint comprehensive plan of action entered into force sanctioning the end of the European sanctions and the suspension of US secondary sanctions on Iran. In this way, the Islamic Republic of Iran has returned to actively play a political and economic role in the international context, closing a long period of isolation.

If the agreement saw Iran and the so-called 5 + 1 countries (United States, Russia, China, Great Britain, France and Germany) as the main protagonists, it cannot be ignored that the result was achieved also and above all through a previous secret parallel negotiation between Washington and Tehran, favored by the Sultan of Oman. It was in Muscat that the foundations were laid for that agreement that took shape in Europe 3 years later, demonstrating how and how deep was the will of the main players in the negotiation to identify a formula that would allow Iran to be reintegrated into the community. international economic.

The process of defining the agreement, however, was fraught with obstacles and pitfalls both in Iran and in the United States. It is no mystery that the negotiations were strongly desired and defended both by the American President Barack Obama and by the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who nevertheless had to contend with strong internal resistance. In the United States, the main detractor has undoubtedly been the Congress, dominated by the neocons who do not agree to come to terms with the Islamic Republic – which they consider a sponsor state of terrorism – and who identify in regime change the only way forward with Tehran.

In Iran, on the other hand, a heterogeneous group of conservative exponents opposed the agreement, who see the opening to Western markets as a dangerous threat to the interests and position gains built on almost 40 years of isolation and self-referentiality, fearing to see in a short time the possibility of generating huge profits in a protected and impenetrable system from the outside is compromised.

Rouhani was able to count on the constant support of the supreme leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, who, while remaining skeptical about the agreement and any hypothesis of rapprochement with the United States, guaranteed the president the full support of the institutions in defense of the negotiation, recognizing him as an expression of the popular will of which the president is a direct emanation.

Iranian woman

The removal of the sanctions was accompanied by an intense recovery in relations with Europe and Asia, which, however, are struggling to materialize the longed-for economic recovery as a result of the difficulties raised by European banks.

While European sanctions have been removed, primary US sanctions linked to terrorism remain in place, discouraging banks that fear repercussions on their dollar exposures.

The ambiguous position of the Congress following the signature on the lifting of the sanctions has fostered this climate of financial uncertainty, forcing Iran to invoke the help of the Europeans in solving a dangerous technical-bureaucratic impasse. While on the one hand the American administration has worked hard to reach an agreement with Iran, on the other, Congress and some of the most powerful national lobbies (not least the pro-Israeli one) have tried to sabotage its applicability. on several occasions, managing to cause delays and bureaucratic complications. The delicate phase of managing the post-sanctions is then strongly conditioned by the American presidential campaign, where the tones of some candidates were particularly threatening towards Iran and the agreement just signed.

2017 will be the year of presidential elections in Iran, and the debate on nuclear power has already begun to make its weight felt in the parliamentary elections of February 2016, where the majority of the seats in the Majlis were won by members of the pragmatic-conservative political forces. which, while supporting President Rouhani for the most part, demand concrete results and compliance with the agreements by the United States and the international community.

The New Role of Rouhani's Iran