Iranian leaders have become cognizant of the fact that their hardball political tactics pay off very well with President Obama. They continue to obtain concessions from President Obama even in his last few months in office. They see that intransigence works with the White House, and that threatening the U.S. will lead to Obama offering more concessions to Iran. For Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), giving concessions means weakness.
After a series of anti-American statements and lashing out at the U.S. by Ayatollah Khamenei, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif, the Obama administration eased more critical sanctions on Iran through new regulatory measures by the Treasury department.