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Politically it's just not possible to appear to lose to the West and simply allow everything to be investigated without getting something in return.


The thing is in totalitarian regimes, such as Iran, public opinion is often formed by the propaganda coming from mass media - which is government controlled. The belief that the nuclear program is a question of honor and so it is more important that the well-being of the Iranian people was likely incessantly repeated in the mass media, taught in schools from age 0 etc. So this has been the policy of the supreme leader all along, for many years.

That said, If one day he decided that his goal is a peaceful nuclear program, I have no doubt it would be possible to find a way to frame any deal in a way that won't look like a defeat, especially that the mass media is government controlled. People in Egypt still believe that they won the 1973 war against Israel.

Seeing how much the sanctions hurt Iran, I can't believe they have endured all this if their nuclear program is a peaceful one.






That said, If one day he decided that his goal is a peaceful nuclear program, I have no doubt it would be possible to find a way to frame any deal in a way that won't look like a defeat
Iran always said they want a peaceful nuclear program. The Iraeli position used to be that no Iranian nuclear program should exist. If it would be possible to push Iran to having no nuclear program the US certainly would push for sanction to ensure that.

Mass media did establish the nuclear program as a sacred value: http://journal.sjdm.org/91203/jdm91203.html . It allows to distract from mismanagement of the Iranian economy.

It's not mainly about convincing the average guy on the street. It's about convincing the military. If the military thinks that the clerics sell out Iran, they can putsch.
Or they can simply do what the military did in Egypt when they were unhappy and allow the government to fall to protestors, should people protest.

Even when it comes to the Iranian public, Iran isn't strong in the sense that the government can convince everyone that the government is good. That's why you had the Arab spring. Being totalitarian isn't enough to convince everybody.
As Julian Assange said, free speech is outlawed in totalitrian regimes because you can actually create change with it.

In the time of the internet and venues such as al jazeera, there's also no monopoly of government media anymore.
Seeing how much the sanctions hurt Iran, I can't believe they have endured all this if their nuclear program is a peaceful one.
It's simply no politically viable move to give up in face of sanction and give the appearance of being pushed around. The sanction provide an explanation that outside forces are responsibly for the bad Iranian economy so that the Iranian leadership doesn't have to take responsibility for bad economic policy.
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