2013: The Year Iran warmed to the West?
It has been a dramatic year for Iran: the election of reformist
President Hassan Rowhani, and the signing of an interim nuclear deal
after 10 years of deadlocked talks. The Islamic Republic seemed to draw
closer, if only slightly, to the West.
Rowhani took up the
presidency in August, and worked to end an era of belligerent rhetoric
and frosty foreign relations fostered by his predecessor Mahmoud
Another critical factor, said Dr Geneive Abdo of the U.S.-based Stimson Center, is Iran’s weak economy.
of the economic mismanagement under Ahmadinejad, the Iranians are
interested in improving the economy,” she told Al Arabiya News.
is having great difficulty because its hard currency reserves have been
depleted. It needs to sell its oil again on the world market, and that
can only happen if sanctions are lifted.”
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