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Hard-liners attack Rouhani over outreach to Europe on JCPOA

Iranian hard-liners show no sign of compromise with moderate President Hassan Rouhani, reigniting their attacks on him for his push to maintain the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani attends a news conference in Vienna, Austria, July 4, 2018.  REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger - RC1BB998E3E0

Ever since President Hassan Rouhani's government signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with six world powers in July 2015, little domestic consensus has materialized over the deal — which has aroused concern, criticism and accusations from his relentless hard-line rivals. The heated debate over whether the decision to strike the accord was right has now resurfaced as conservatives find the government an easier target following the May 2018 US withdrawal from the agreement.

The latest attack comes from a man who himself once led unsuccessful nuclear negotiations with the West under former hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Saeed Jalili (2007-2013) was addressing a Dec. 17 conference in Tehran, which commemorated Mustafa Ahmadi Roshan, one of the nuclear scientists Iran says was assassinated by Israeli agents in 2012. Admiring the "martyr," Jalili could not withhold sarcasm against the Rouhani government. "Our nuclear martyrs are great in that they did not idolize the West. They died for our nuclear rights, but certain people deprived the country of its right to nuclear research and development upon requests from the West."

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