ABC News reports from Iran this week, digging into a changing country few Americans understand. His latest dispatch:
Iran's hardliners flexed their muscles on today's anniversary of the 1979 takeover of the U.S. embassy, bringing thousands of protesters into the streets for their annual anti-U.S. rally outside the former embassy compound.
Men, women and children burned U.S. flags, denounced the United States and Israel and chanted, "Death to America."
#AP quoting tens of thousands at anti-US rally today. Hard to tell from our vantage point, but definitely several thousand at least— Muhammad Lila (@MuhammadLila) November 4, 2013
What's interesting is why the hardliners felt the need for such a show of strength. In years past, conservatives didn't need to take to the streets in large numbers, because they already dominated the parliament and judiciary.
Now, with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani taking a more conciliatory approach, some conservatives believe the Islamic revolution they fought for is eroding. And they're worried that their key call for no diplomatic ties with the United States may be reversed.
Yesterday, in what was perceived as a slight, Iran's supreme leader came out in support of negotiations with the United States over the Iranian nuclear issue, telling Iranians that negotiators were the "children of this country" and that no one should say anything disparaging about them. Rouhani
Rouhani, through his Twitter account, also delivered some subtle jabs at the conservatives as well.
Standing up against #injustice and having constructive engagement with the world are different components of the very same policy 1/2— Hassan Rouhani (@HassanRouhani) November 3, 2013
Our policy is based on fighting aggression&oppression, maintaining independence while having constructive&effective interaction w/ world 2/2— Hassan Rouhani (@HassanRouhani) November 3, 2013
I sincerely thank the Leader for expressing support in his speech today for Gov policies, diplomacy & efforts by #nuclear negotiating team— Hassan Rouhani (@HassanRouhani) November 3, 2013
Today, he added that "[p]eople may differ in their approach."
People may differ in their approach, but I believe everyone is supportive of the initiatives taken by Gov & #nuclear negotiating team 1/2— Hassan Rouhani (@HassanRouhani) November 4, 2013
Current environment--brought about by Iranian ppl in recent election--offers unique & unprecedented opportunity for nuclear negotiations 2/2— Hassan Rouhani (@HassanRouhani) November 4, 2013