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Obama Comments May Help Iranian Moderates

In his speech to the Muslim world in Cairo Thursday, President Obama said Iran had a clear choice on the future it wants to build for its people.

Borzou Daragahi, Middle East correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, says reaction to the comments has been mixed in the Islamic Republic.

"On the one hand, you had conservatives who are rather skeptical, still, of Obama's rhetoric," he says. "They think that it's not going to be followed by action. ... On the other hand, you have much more moderate folks, more reformist figures in the establishment and the society who ... welcome the outreach as genuine and unprecedented."

Daragahi says Obama's popularity in Iran is changing the dynamics within the political establishment in that country, forcing a reconsideration of the government's anti-U.S. stance.

"You can see that in the political rhetoric between the candidates as they prepare for elections June 12," he says, adding Obama's speech and its timing will help the moderate candidates.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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