Supporters of Iran's Green Movement and opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi attend an electoral campaign rally in Tehran in 2009. (Sipa via AP Images)
Conciliatory rhetoric by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani toward the West has raised hopes that the Islamic regime could be moderating, but major change remains a distant prospect as Tehran has refused to loosen restrictions on opponents at home. For Rouhani, delivering on his campaign promises to release opposition leaders would likely inflame hard-liners, potentially undermining nuclear talks and sabotaging long-term political openings.
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