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Saturday, May 6, 2017

Iran's Nuclear Deal: Less Popular There Than Here?

Iran's Nuclear Deal: Less Popular There Than Here?

Iran’s presidential election on May 19 will test whether negotiating the 2015 nuclear agreement with the United States and other powers has given the country’s reform-minded moderates a boost. The Obama administration hoped that reduction of economic sanctions under the agreement would strengthen the hand of Iranian politicians less committed to confrontation with the West.

Sure, the question of who is actually a moderate or reformist has always been hotly contested. In truth, very few Iranian politicians oppose the fundamentals of strict clerical rule. But some have wanted to engage more directly with the outside world while favoring fewer restrictions on speech, assembly and women’s rights.

American optimists hope that greater movement in that direction could be an opening wedge toward broader and more fundamental change in the revolutionary regime.

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