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Iran: Rouhani’s failed New York visit resulting in further internal turmoil

A scene of the “No to Rouhani” rally held by supporters of the Iranian opposition PMOI/MEK in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly – September 24, 2019
A scene of the “No to Rouhani” rally held by supporters of the Iranian opposition PMOI/MEK in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly – September 24, 2019

Analysis by PMOI/MEK

Iran, October 2, 2019—One of the characteristics of dictatorships at the brink of collapse is that whatever they do, it will turn against themselves. Iranian regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei sent the mullahs’ president Hassan Rouhani to the United Nations General Assembly in New York to possibly ease the diplomatic isolation and economic sanctions engulfing the Islamic republic.

However, before Rouhani set foot in New York, a joint statement by the three European signatories of the 2015 nuclear deal, known officially as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was issued condemning Iran for the attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities while specifically indicating Tehran is behind the attacks.

 

In a similar fashion, before Rouhani arrived back in Tehran, the news broke that the three European countries, namely France, Germany, and the UK, have warned the mullahs’ regime that if Iran continues to violate its obligations under the JCPOA, they will leave the agreement.

 

Rouhani’s failed visit to New York added to the already intense internal disputes among the ruling factions in Tehran.

While, according to the spokesperson for the Iranian regime, Rouhani’s approach and speech at the UNGA were agreed upon by all the ruling factions, Friday prayer imams, known to be Khamenei’s representatives, did not hesitate to blame Rouhani for the failure.

 

“It is unfortunate that we witness the three European countries issuing a statement against Iran. When do they issue such a statement? When we smile at them. Why didn’t they dare issue statements previously?” asked Ahmad Mir Emadi, the Friday prayer imam in the city of Khorramabad, and the supreme leader’s representative in Lorestan province. “Why didn’t they manage to do something since the U.S. left the JCPOA? But today, as soon as we smile at them and show ourselves laughing, they issue a statement and act authoritatively.”

Referring to Rouhani’s visit to New York, the state-run Arman newspaper wrote on September 28: “As much as we try to find a point to refer to in order to say that this visit had some results, unfortunately, we can’t find anything.”

The Ebtekar newspaper, close to Rouhan’s faction, writes: “European countries agree with the U.S. regarding our ballistic missiles and regional issues and they will gradually show their position in terms of the nuclear deal closer to the U.S.”

Referring to the three European countries' threat of leaving the JCPOA, the Ebtekar piece continues: “One of their important leverages is the snapback mechanism, referring Iran’s case to the United Nations Security Council, which can result in international sanctions resuming.”

Setareh Sobh, another newspaper close to Rouhani’s political faction, expresses its concerns about the prospects of the full isolation of the Iranian regime. “What will happen if the three European countries, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom leave the JCPOA?” the article asks.

“If the diplomatic engagement between Iran and Europe ends, the Americans will be one step closer to their goals and will be able to easily create an international consensus against Iran,” the newspaper responds to its own question.

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