We seen plenty of resistance on the US side for a rapprochement with Iran, with hawks who have made their political careers playing off of decades of anti-Iran sentiment resisting any change as automatically unacceptable. 30+ years of acrimony has given the hostility momentum, and it’s increasingly evident on the Iranian side as well.
President Hassan Rouhani may have been elected on a campaign of diplomatic reform, but the hardliners he ran against remain influential, and military leaders are also expressing their displeasure at the negotiations on the grounds that the US simply can’t be trusted.
Gen. Mohammad Jafari, the head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, says that Rouhani should have refused the Friday telephone call from President Obama, saying it was a “tactical error” and that any such talks should be held off until the US takes concrete action toward ending the sanctions.
Rouhani’s election victory may have afforded him an opportunity to push for diplomacy, but it’s clear the job of selling diplomacy, as it is in the US, remains as much a domestic effort as an international one, and has an array of opponents hoping for its failure.