Some in Iran have no use for improved ties with U.S.
TEHRAN, Iran — Smiling and waving flags, Iranians from across the political spectrum welcomed President Hassan Rouhani home on Saturday with cheers for his historic phone conversation with his American counterpart. But anger over the contact between the enemy nations signaled challenges ahead.
Hard-liners opposed to any improved contact with Washington made their objections clear as several dozen protesters chanting “Death to America” tried to block his motorcade in Tehran. The semiofficial Mehr news agency reported that at least one demonstrator hurled a shoe — a common gesture of contempt in the Middle East — in Rouhani's direction. According to other reports, eggs were thrown at his car.
“Dialogue with Satan is not ‘hope and prudence,'” some chanted, using the Rouhani's campaign from the June presidential election.
Rouhani supporters, meanwhile, greeted him with placards thanking him for seeking peace instead of confrontation. One banner read: “Yes to peace, no to war.”
The 15-minute phone call between and President Obama on Friday capped a week of drama revolving around Rouhani's participation in the annual U.N. meeting of world leaders.
The Iranian leader now has the difficult mission of trying to unite the country behind his outreach to ease a three-decade-long estrangement with the United States and move toward a possible settlement to roll back sanctions imposed over Tehran's nuclear program. The West says Iran's program aims at developing weapons technology, while Tehran says it is for peaceful purposes.
The effort appears to have the critical backing of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. But even the endorsement from Iran's most powerful figure is not enough to silence criticism of the fast-paced developments.
Alaeddin Boroujerdi, who heads the foreign policy and national security committee in parliament, was quoted by Iranian media as saying that the call showed Iran's “might.” But a hard-line news website said there was no justification for Rouhani to talk to the “Great Satan,” and that the conversation was “a strange and useless step.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- ‘Post-Ebola syndrome’ hospitalizes British nurse
- Violence spreads to Gaza Strip
- Backlash against Merkel over migrant flow grows
- Nobel Peace Prize goes to Tunisia groups united to foster political diaglogue
- Number of deaths attributed to smoking in China could hit 2 million by 2030
- Afghan response to charity hospital bombing muted
- Tunisian democracy group wins Nobel Peace Prize
- U.S. warships may ply South China Sea
- Palestinians barred from Old City amid Jewish festival
- Opening of Abu Dhabi’s Louvre pushed back
- U.S. allies in Syria struck by Russians