TEHRAN, Iran — The phone conversation between US President Barack Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, during the final hours of Rouhani’s visit to New York, was unexpected enough to dominate the media spheres of both Iran and the United States. The reactions of the Iranian people have been significant and mostly positive. Even the Principlists and conservatives, whose ideology is not similar to that of Rouhani, have not reacted negatively to Rouhani's diplomacy or that of his foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, in New York.
Before Rouhani’s trip to New York, to participate in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had granted permission for positive signals and “heroic flexibility.” This resulted in the majority of the Principlists, conservatives and even the members, or sepah, of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) supporting — or at least not opposing — the government's actions. Although a small number of extremists attacked Rouhani upon his return at Mehrabad Airport, these people are so isolated that even the Principlists criticize them.