Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, a business empire as well as the country’s most powerful military force, have been a vocal critic of recent nuclear diplomacy. President Hassan Rouhani is fighting back, setting up a contest that may shape his presidency.
“Nobody’s announced a war, young lady,” President Barack Obama said in New York on March 2, wagging his finger at an audience member who decried the possibility of U.S. military action against Iran. “But we appreciate your sentiment.”
Just after 3 p.m. on Nov. 29, about 200 demonstrators ransacked the British Embassy in Tehran, chanting “Death to England,” setting fire to the Union Jack, carting off a portrait of Queen Elizabeth, and detaining staff as Iranian security officers stood by. It bore all the marks of a state-orchestrated provocation.
Senate Democratic leaders are withholding comment on an Obama administration request to delay new sanctions against Iran, as some Republicans say they’re determined to increase economic pressure aimed at curbing the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.