Iranian hard-liners have piled pressure on President Hassan Rouhani's administration in recent weeks, especially on Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who led Iran’s nuclear negotiating team. After the recent move by the US Congress to renew sanctions on Iran, one prominent Iranian extremist went so far as to call Zarif an American spy.
The US House of Representatives voted to renew the Iran Sanctions Act on Nov. 15, and the Senate approved a 10-year extension of the act on Dec. 1. President Barack Obama is expected to approve the measure. Iranian politicians and lawmakers have in past days argued that the extension of US sanctions violates the July 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). In this vein, Rouhani, in a Dec. 4 address before the Iranian parliament, condemned the US renewal of the Iran Sanctions Act.