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Will Rouhani's negotiations with Iran’s hard-liners succeed?

With the difficult nuclear negotiations behind him, President Hassan Rouhani is now focused on domestic issues.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani talks to journalists after he registered for February's election of the Assembly of Experts, the clerical body that chooses the supreme leader, at Interior Ministry in Tehran December 21, 2015. REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi/TIMA ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. - RTX1ZKIR

President Hassan Rouhani scheduled a press conference Jan. 17 to herald a new era in Iran by announcing the lifting of international sanctions that were put into place over the country's nuclear program. Rouhani took nearly two years to fulfill perhaps his most important campaign promise of delivering a nuclear deal and easing the economic pressure on Iranian citizens. However, during the press conference, the president was forced to address another campaign promise that is currently hanging in the balance: the opening of the political climate in the country.

The day before Rouhani’s press conference, Iranian television, quoting the Guardian Council, which is tasked with vetting candidates to run in the elections, reported that more than half of the record number of 12,000 candidates to register in the parliamentary elections had not been qualified to run. Many of the candidates disqualified came from the Reformist and moderate camps, two groups that would have been allied with the president in creating a more open political climate in the country.

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