But despite the risks he has taken in pushing for a deal against hardline opposition, the deal may not be enough to ensure Rouhani’s political future, analysts say.
Instead, long-term success is likely to hinge on whether he can ring the changes at home after making pre-election pledges on social and cultural reforms that have taken a back seat to the nuclear talks.
In parliamentary elections next February voters could endorse Rouhani, a moderate, by backing candidates who favor his bid to bring Iran out of the international deep freeze.
But they could also reject his outreach and vote for conservatives, including hardliners, who — deal or no deal — will assert that Rouhani has not delivered on his promises.
The stakes are high, said Amir Mohebbian, a conservative-leaning analyst with close ties to Iran’s leadership, and Iranians are looking for tangible results.
“To the people, the situation has not changed and many think the negotiations are a game in which they have gained no advantages. This perception feeds the opponents of a deal,” he said.