On Monday, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani accused the Revolutionary Guard and other regime insiders of benefiting from corruption and of threatening the Islamic Revolution in a speech to senior officials. As the Financial Times reports:
“Continuation of corruption, expansion of corruption and deepening of corruption means the [political] system and the  revolution are at stake” [Rouhani said….]“If guns, money, newspapers and propaganda all gather in one place, one can be confident of corruption there,” he said, in a clear reference to the hardline military force. “Even Abuzar and Salman [allies of Prophet Mohammad] would have become corrupt under one organisation that has accumulated everything.” […]“Our [economic] problems will not be resolved unless we battle corruption,” Mr Rouhani said, calling for “public supervision” by civil society, unions, political parties and the media to help the government clean up state-run sectors.The government has pledged to shut down some credit institutions affiliated to the Guards and other power centres, and increase supervision on the banking system, end the expropriation of land by powerful bodies and individuals, and levy taxes on organisations which currently enjoy tax exemptions — including companies affiliated to the armed forces and Astan-e Qods, a powerful, conservative religious foundation.
This speech could be a sign of an intensifying power struggle to determine how Iran will deal with the new status quo—in which Iran’s economy is struggling due to falling oil prices, but not struggling so much that it feels the need to cave on a nuclear deal that would remove sanctions. While a nuclear deal would have given Rouhani extraordinary clout, and an outright failure would have vindicated the hardliners, the extension of the negotiations poses a challenge to both sides. Iran’s politics remain a black box, but it does look like something may be kicking off inside it.