President Rouhani’s overtures to the west are genuine. Iran voted for change

 

President Rouhani’s overtures to the west are genuine. Iran voted for change

Hassan Rouhani

Iran’s moderate president Hassan Rouhani. New US sanctions bill was passed by the House of Representatives just days before his inauguration. Photograph: Majid Saeedi/Getty Images

“The Islamic Republic’s problem is one of communication,” a retired captain of Iran‘s Revolutionary Guards told me in Tehran three days before the June 2013 presidential election that brought a surprising victory to Hasan Rouhani. “We’re horrible at getting our message across and communicating in a diplomatic manner with the west,” he continued as we walked to his car, which displayed Rouhani’s electoral poster on the dashboard.