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In Iran, Rouhani's overture to the West wins support despite hostility

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was welcomed back to Tehran by jubilant crowds that outsized the number of angry, egg-throwing hardliners.

Hundreds of people cheered Iranian President Hassan Rouhani as he returned from New York to Tehran on Saturday in a strong sign of support for his new approach to the West, according to Reuters.

About 60 hardliners also gathered to throw eggs and stones at the new Iranian leader's car and shouted slogans like "Death to America!," said BBC News. Reuters said about 100 conservatives were present.

The group was likely angered by Friday's historic phone call between the American and Iranian leaders, a breakthrough after 30 years of diplomatic estrangemet.

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Alaeddin Boroujerdi, the head of parliamen's national security and foreign affairs committee, welcomed the move on Saturday.

"This shows that Iran's place in the world is of critical importance," the semi-official Mehr news angency quoted Boroujerdi as saying, acccording to Reuters. "That the president of America insists on a telephone call is a sign of sincerity," he added.

Rouhani used his trip to New York for the United Nations' general assembly to speak out about his nation's controversial nuclear weapons program and to call for renewed talks on the issue. 

How much influence Rouhani will be able to bring to bear on the matter remains to be seen — in Iran, the presidency is greatly limited by the rule of the Supreme Leader.

The United States and many Western nations fear Iran is using its nuclear program to make a bomb, a charge Tehran denies.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/iran/130928/iran-rouhanis-overture-the-west-greeted-cheers-and-hos