This AP story assumes that Rouhani’s “moderation” is sincere, and that these protesters oppose him and even Khamenei as well, and that the whole thing is not just a Good Cop/Bad Cop charade. The jury is still out on that. “Chanting “˜death to America,” Iran protesters rally against US,” from the Associated Press, November 4:
Tens of thousands of demonstrators packed the streets Monday outside the former US Embassy in Tehran in the biggest anti-American rally in years, a show of support for hard-line opponents of President Hassan Rouhani’s historic outreach to Washington.
Such protests occur every year outside the former embassy compound to mark the anniversary of the 1979 embassy takeover following the Islamic Revolution. But the latest demonstration is the largest in years after calls by groups such as the powerful Revolutionary Guard for a major showing, including chants of “death to America” that some of Rouhani’s backers have urged halted.
The crowds also send a message to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who cautiously has backed Rouhani’s overtures to the US and efforts to end the impasse with the West over Tehran’s nuclear program.
Opponents of thawing relations with the US say they will not back down, opening the prospect of deeper internal rifts and tensions that could put pressure on Khamenei to reconsider his backing of Rouhani’s groundbreaking exchanges with the US.
In September, Rouhani accepted from a call from US President Barack Obama following the annual U.N. General Assembly in New York, where US Secretary of State John Kerry held talks with Iran’s foreign minister. Ties between the two countries were severed after the embassy siege, which began a hostage crisis with 52 people held for 444 days.
Critics of the dialogue made their views immediately known, hurling insults and eggs at Rouhani’s entourage upon their return from New York. Late last month, huge banners appeared around Tehran depicting the US as a sinister and deceitful adversary that seeks to weaken Iran. Tehran officials ordered the signs removed, but they appeared in poster form at the demonstration Monday outside the former embassy compound.
Protesters also stomped on images of Obama and the US flag. Others carried well-known banners reading “We trample America under our feet” and “The US is the Great Satan.” One image showed Obama in a wrestling uniform with Star of David earrings, symbolizing Israel….