The Iranian Nuclear Crisis: Iran’s Greens Join the Fray

The Iranian Nuclear Crisis: Iran’s Greens Join the Fray

It remains uncertain whether Iran will ultimately accept or reject the agreement that nuclear negotiators in Geneva drafted late last month to send Iran's stockpiled enriched uranium abroad for further enrichment. But the deliberations in Tehran have made one thing clear: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is under enormous domestic pressure from all sides to reject the P5+1 deal. It would be a mistake, however, to view this pressure in the vacuum of the nuclear issue. In fact, the opposition to striking a deal with the West offers a revealing glimpse of what the future holds for Iran's fractured political landscape.

Those who first questioned the deal hammered out in Vienna were conservatives, close to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, but not part of the Ahmadinejad axis. Most notably, Ali Larijani, the speaker of the Iranian Majlis and a close confidant of Khamenei's, cast doubt on the plan, saying, "My guess is that the Americans have made a secret deal with certain countries to take [low-]enriched uranium away from us under the pretext of providing nuclear fuel." Targeting his comments more directly towards Ahmadinejad, Larijani added, "We hope Iranian officials will pay due attention to this issue."

Soon thereafter, Larijani's brother, Sadegh, declared that nuclear negotiations were "not beneficial" to Iranian national interests. Most recently, and perhaps most forcefully, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, the head of Majlis' influential National Security and Foreign Affairs commission, on Saturday called the IAEA-backed deal "out of the question," though he has since backpedaled.

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