Iran's hardliner media have welcomed President Hassan Rouhani's defiant speech at the UN General Assembly in their Thursday issues and some of his most staunch critics have praised him for echoing Supreme Leader Kahamenei's rhetoric.
Meanwhile, they have also praised Rouhani for not meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump.
The Kayhan, a hardliner daily affiliated with Khamenei's office, and usually a critic of Rouhani and his policies, dedicated a long editorial to Rouhani's speech and verified its compliance with the party-line dictated by Khamenei almost paragraph by paragraph.
The daily ran an unusually large headline for the occasion, highlighting Rouhani's main message as well as his accusation against Washington: "No to negotiation under sanctions, the U.S. is an international pirate."
Kayhan noted that in this speech, Rouhani has distanced himself from his previous positions and the views of other reformist and moderate elements around him. The paper expressed hope that Rouhani will continue to be a hardliner and would "set aside some of his advisers."
The Kayhan, however, criticized Rouhani for laughing during his meetings with French, UK and German leaders, while praising him for not taking their advice to meet with Trump.
Rouhani's press service in Tehran made sure to say that the president's meeting with PM Johnson was an occasion for criticizing the West and did not publish the photo.
The revolutionary guards IRGC's newspaper Javan praised Rouhani for criticizing the U.S. and Europe and opined that his criticism reflected "objective realities about the behavior of Europe and America."
Javan wrote that Rouhani's speech was based on "Iran's usual stances about global developments" while criticizing Trump's speech as "His most aggressive speech about Iran so far."
Meanwhile, Javan, which usually does not give extensive coverage to Rouhani's remarks, also carried a report on Rouhani's interview with Fox News with the headline: "U.S. government is fighting our children and patients."
Khorassan newspaper, also affiliated with Khamenei's office and Imam Reza's shrine in Mashhad, wrote "Rouhani rejected the idea of taking part in a stage-manged negotiation" that was planned as a "show" by the EU trio, and headlined Rouhani's demand for a "true negotiation rather than a show of negotiation."
Khorassan also criticized Rouhani for laughing with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and carried two extensive articles about the procedure to impeach Trump at the House of Representatives.
Meanwhile, IRGC-linked Tasnim news agency which usually ignores most developments where Rouhani is in the spotlight, covered Rouhani's meeting with the UN Chief Antonio Guterres and his appearance at a meeting with U.S. foreign policy activists in New York on Wednesday evening and quoted him as having told "U.S. elites" that "All political parties in Iran believe the United States to be behind all of Iran's current problems."
Tasnim also covered Rouhani's suggestion made at that meeting of "approving the Non-Proliferation Treaty 'NPT' at the Iranian Parliament against U.S. Congress lifting all sanctions that have been imposed on Iran." This idea must have occurred to Rouhani after his UNGA speech as he did not mention it in his remarks.
Fars, another IRGC-linked news agency, covered Rouhani's interview with ABC News in which he said the ball was in the U.S. court and demanded once again lifting all sanctions as a precondition for any negotiation.
Like Tasnim, Fars is usually reluctant to show Rouhani in a good light, and today’s coverage could indicate that the IRGC is happy with Rouhani's behavior in New York.
Iranian officials have apparently not commented yet on Rouhani's performance in New York as of Thursday afternoon.