TEHRAN -- Following President
While about 100 supporters of the first-year president gathered at the airport to greet him, a group of hard-line conservative students pelted his car with shoes and eggs as he departed following a welcome-home ceremony.
"The aim of the negotiation is a sheer propaganda by USA" read a placard carried by one of the protesters.
"We do not want economic growth if it implies being humiliated and dominated by USA," declared a protest leader, speaking into a megaphone.
Rouhani supporters, meanwhile, expressed exuberance about the discussion between the two leaders, saying it could lead to a breakthrough in the longtime antagonism between Iran and the U.S.
"I am happy that President Obama made a phone call to President Rouhani," said Vida, a 50-year-old woman in a purple dress, who did not provide her last name. "Mr. Rouhani has been respectfully treated by U.S. top officials, so the years of humiliation have ended, and gradually freedom is coming back to Iranian society."
Obama called Rouhani on Friday, as the Iranian leader was being driven to the airport after a week at the
Leaders of the two nations hadn't spoken since Iran's 1979 revolution, when hardliners took 52 Americans hostage and held them for 444 days.
The official greeting back in Tehran was organized largely by Rouhani's election campaign workers and consisted of a well-dressed group of men and women, many wearing purple attire, the color associated with Rouhani's campaign.
The protesters, about 50 students sporting beards and casual shirts, demanded an end to any discussion of rapprochement.
"We do not believe in Western democracy," said Rouhollah Hossiana, 30, an engineering school graduate. "We are believers in ideals of the revolution and we came here to remind our president that we do not let our ideals be compromised in wheeling and dealing behind the curtains with the U.S."