There was hope that the nuclear deal with Iran would be the start of improved relations. Instead, Iran is turning more against the United States.
Relations between the two countries ended 36 years ago. When the U.S. backed Shah fled, Iranian students took over the U.S. embassy. The new regime made it clear it did not like America.
Iran is now on a rampage. Iranians who have ties to the U.S. are being arrested. A food place was closed down because it looked like it was part of Kentucky Fried Chicken. Stores are being told not to sell clothing with American and British labels.
The President of Iran is Hassan Rouhani. He promised to open ties with the U.S. The nuclear deal was part of his growing influence. The Supreme Leader is Ayatollah Khamenei. He wanted the nuclear deal to free up money blocked by American-led economic sanctions.
The deal is now taking place. Against the deal are the Iranian “hardliners.” Hardliners claim the West is trying to influence the Islamic Republic. They consider themselves foes of the “American Devil.” They are engaged in a religious war against the West. There is also Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. It is fighting in Syria and Iraq. They are trying to keep Bashar al-Assad in power in Syria and to defeat the Islamic State in Iraq.
An election in Iran is coming up in February 2016. Many hardliners want to use the election to defeat the forces of Rouhani. They believe this would show that Iran is still defiant toward the West.
Arresting journalists and closing down TV stations is one way to show that defiance.
Things are very complicated in the Middle East. Russia, Iran and our allied forces are bumping up against each other. An Iran that is more hostile will make matters worse.
Source: The New York Times November 4, 2015