President Barack Obama has sent two letters to senior Iranian leaders in recent months requesting a meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, according to Persian language reports recently translated by a Middle East research organization.
“President Obama asked to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in two secret letters sent in late March to both Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and President Rouhani,” according to the Middle East Media Research Institute, or MEMRI, which translated a Farsi-language report published Tuesday by a website affiliated with Iran’s Green movement. Continue reading
- Ayatollah Khamenei made clear that he would hold President Rouhani responsible for a failure to produce improvements in Iran’s economy. He implied that if Rouhani fails to adopt a “Resistance Economy” approach, it would negatively impact Rouhani’s aspirations for a second term.
- Khamenei’s warning to conserve foreign-currency windfalls that result from the lifting of sanctions is probably a criticism of Rouhani’s recent visit to Europe, where he signed deals to purchase 138 passenger planes.
- Rouhani’s management of the economy will be closely monitored by hardliners seeking a return to popularity and the presidency in the 2018 presidential elections.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei last month used the Persian New Year holiday (Nowruz) to deliver his most comprehensive plan for Iran’s economy. His address, proclaimed from his hometown of Mashhad, outlined ten principles of the “Resistance Economy.”
Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei has the power to at any time cancel the nuclear deal with world powers, analysts said on Oct. 25.
Yigal Carmon, the president of the Washington-based Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), and Ayelet Savyon, the head of the institute’s Iran desk, wrote in an analysis that Khamenei, in a letter to President Hassan Rouhani, essentially granted himself the power to void the deal.
Carmon and Savyon write that Khamenei is ultimately looking to stall implementation of the agreement in order to hurt Iran’s moderates, headed by Hashemi Rafsanjani and Rouhani, and their chances in February 2016 Majlis and Assembly of Experts elections. Continue reading