Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Iran’s Hard-Liners Show Restraint on Nuclear Talks With U.S.

Photo: Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in a speech Saturday, said Iran’s establishment favored negotiations over the country’s nuclear program. Credit Office of the Supreme Leader, via European Pressphoto Agency
By THOMAS ERDBRINK, NYT
MARCH 23, 2015

TEHRAN — A coterie of Iran’s hard-line Shiite Muslim clerics and Revolutionary Guards commanders is usually vocal on the subject of the Iranian nuclear program, loudly proclaiming the country’s right to pursue its interests and angrily denouncing the United States.

But as the United States and Iran prepare to restart nuclear talks this week, the hard-liners have been keeping a low profile.

“They have been remarkably quiet,” said Nader Karimi Joni, a former member of the Revolutionary Guards and the Basij, a volunteer paramilitary group.

Their silence is a result of state policies intended by Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, to seriously try to find a solution through negotiations. Ayatollah Khamenei has largely supported the nuclear talks and the Iranian negotiators, whom he has called “good and caring people, who work for the country.”

The restraint by the hard-liners also reflects a general satisfaction, analysts say, with the direction of the talks and the successes Iran is enjoying, extending and deepening its influence in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen.

(More here.)

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