By Mohammad Sadat Khansari
In a meeting with regime officials last Saturday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned that the most difficult days for the regime are yet to come.
He said that the public discontent is very high and that the people of Iran are angry because of the lack of social resources. He said: “What we are missing today is the social resources. Our social resources have weakened. That is why we have so many problems. Otherwise, the government is the same.”
Rouhani is right when he states that the level of discontent across the country is high. The people have been calling for regime change for some time and have made it very clear that they will not relent until they finally can enjoy freedom, democracy and human rights.
Referring to the many internal disputes that are becoming more and more difficult for the regime to hide, President Rouhani said that the government must pull together and “rise up” in order “to be able to govern the country again”.
Rouhani predicted that the year ahead of the regime will be difficult and full of challenges. He said that the regime is currently under a great deal of pressure, but this will increase in the near future. “We have a tough year ahead of us. A difficult year. Yes! We are under pressure now. We are facing difficult economic circumstances and a difficult road ahead. We have tough days before us, more than what you might think.”
The Iranian president, unlike Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, wants to keep the 2015 nuclear deal alive, despite his recent warnings to the remaining signatories that Iran would exit.
When the United States withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) last year, the Iranian regime warned that it too would do the same – much to the horror of the European signatories of the deal that begged President Trump to keep the deal intact.
However, Iran did not withdraw from it. The nuclear agreement brings great benefits to the Iranian regime because it is full of compromises and concessions. And while Iran remains party to the deal, it seems that the European signatories are happy to sail along in the knowledge that Iran is compliant.
Yet the reality is far different. Iran’s compliance is a technicality – the Europeans should be looking at the full picture that clearly depicts Iran as a major threat, nuclear and otherwise, to the region and much further beyond.
The Trump administration has said that it wants to bring Iran back to the negotiating table so that a more comprehensive deal can be drawn up. The Supreme Leader has said that there will be no negotiations with the United States, but President Rouhani is not in full agreement.
Speaking to the press on Saturday, he said that negotiations are necessary, but made it clear that that it would be on Iran’s terms. He said: “We are ready for a dialogue, we welcome a dialogue. However, we do not negotiate with someone who says we pull you to the negotiating table.”