Ayatollah V President: The clash of visions over Iran’s opening to the West

IranPolitik managing editor Farzan Sabet has written an article about the clash of visions between Iran’s supreme leader and president that could shape Iran’s relations with the West, in New America Weekly:

The Islamic Republic of Iran recently marked the 37th anniversary of the Iranian Revolution of 1979, which heralded a decisive break in the country’s relationship with the West, especially the United States. Coming ahead of the first post-nuclear deal Islamic Consultative Assembly (parliament) and Assembly of Experts elections next week, which pit relatively pro-Western moderates against anti-Western conservatives, many have been pondering if we could soon witness Iran-West reconciliation. Optimists have lauded the election of moderate President Hassan Rouhani and the nuclear deal as signs of a strategic shift toward an open Iran that can reconcile with the West. Pessimists view the persistence of Iran’s regional policies and domestic repression as signs that any openings are at best tactical aberrations by a still resistant Iran. A more realistic assessment probably falls somewhere in between: Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Rouhani’s respective visions of a resistant and open Iran are at odds, with the outcome unlikely to be a clear victory for either in the foreseeable future.”

To read the rest of the article, visit the New America Foundation.