Iran's President Rouhani and his Foreign Secretary Mohammad Javad Zarif are not idealists. They are pragmatists. They want to do what is possible to bring more stability, wealth and power to the Islamic Republic.
They have had a good year, crowned last Sunday by 'Adoption Day' when the nuclear deal started to take effect. The pragmatists' diplomacy, both in Geneva and in Tehran, has delivered the key to Iran's economic growth: the ending of sanctions.
Already businessmen are filling up Tehran's hotels to discuss investments in a country that boasts gas and oil, a young, well educated population, and a manufacturing infrastructure. Iran's Culture Minister is predicting a 'tsunami of tourism' as Iran loosens up their visa requirements.
The success of the pragmatists' diplomacy has strengthened them politically. So the nuclear deal was accepted by Iran's parliament, despite fierce opposition from hardliners.
While there has been little sign so far of improvement, let us pray that as Iran slowly opens, the church would see some measure of freedom.