May 15, 2017


Did Rouhani sell 'grand bargain' with US to Iranian voters? (Arash Karami, May 15, 2017, Al Monitor)

"With a wall of sanctions, they created distance between 'half of the world' and the world," Rouhani said at a May 14 campaign rally in the historic city of Esfahan, once the capital of the Safavid Empire and in a proverb referred to as "half of the world." Rouhani added that tourism in 2013, before the deal lifted some sanctions, was less than that recorded in April this year.

Referring to the nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, by its Persian acronym, BARJAM, Rouhani said, "We established a bridge between Iran and the world with BARJAM. If the Iranian people allow it, if the supreme leader supports and guides it, with Dr. Zarif the rest of the sanctions can be removed."

Rouhani's statement was not a fluke. During the third and final presidential debate on May 12, Rouhani made similar comments on being prepared in his second term to remove the remaining sanctions against Iran. For someone who served as secretary of the Supreme National Security Council for 16 years, Rouhani was well aware of what he was saying: Any negotiations concerning the broad list of US sanctions on Iran, whether in regard to Iran's missiles program or human rights, will need Khamenei's permission to proceed.

Posted by at May 15, 2017 5:36 PM