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The containment of Hassan Rouhani

Conservative opponents of the Iranian president may be threatened by Hassan Rouhani’s agenda and will intensify efforts to contain his influence.
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani smiles as he leaves a news conference at a hotel after the fourth Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) summit, in Shanghai May 22, 2014. Rouhani said on Thursday he is not pessimistic about reaching an agreement over nuclear talks with the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany. REUTERS/Carlos Barria (CHINA - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR3QAZK

In Iran, President Hassan Rouhani's conservative opponents face a dilemma.

On the one hand, they need Rouhani to reach a deal with the United States over the nuclear program so sanctions are removed. The damage from sanctions is too large and too serious to ignore. In fact, the Iranian regime is so worried by the impact of sanctions that Iran's media has been warned not to publish news discussing their impact because such news could “hurt the country.” 

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