Iran Hardliners Gain Authority in Backlash That Could Sideline Rouhani

ANKARA (Reuters) – A year after Iran’s nuclear deal with the West, hardliners are gaining authority in a backlash against pragmatic President Hasan Rouhani that his allies say could leave him sidelined or push him out of power in an election next year.

Rouhani, who was elected in a landslide in 2013 on a promise to reduce Iran’s diplomatic isolation, delivered the agreement that resulted in a lifting of financial sanctions in return for curbs on Tehran’s nuclear program.

The deal had the grudging approval of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, the arch-conservative in office since 1989, whose ultimate authority outranks that of the elected president. Continue reading