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Iranians welcome nuclear deal, but parties on hold

A handout picture released yesterday by the official website of the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani shows him delivering a statement in Tehran. Rouhani told Iranians in a live televised address that “all our objectives” have been met by a nuclear deal agreed with world powers. —AFP

A handout picture released yesterday by the official website of the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani shows him delivering a statement in Tehran. Rouhani told Iranians in a live televised address that “all our objectives” have been met by a nuclear deal agreed with world powers. —AFP

TEHRAN: Iranians welcomed yesterday’s nuclear agreement as a step toward better fortunes, but appeared to put any revelry on hold until sunset in line with Ramadan and after the summer heat. Authorities in recent days have appeared apprehensive about people taking to the streets to celebrate as they did after a preliminary deal was agreed with world powers on April 2. Such concern seemed to be heeded as Tuesday’s news of a deal in Vienna came through around noon in Tehran where the temperature hit 39 Celsius (102 Fahrenheit).

With a few days left of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, however, it is thought the breaking of the fast later will see Iranians show joy at the deal that ends a 13-year international standoff. “It’s great news because the economy will boom,” said Behnam Arian, an accountant said at Argentine Square, a busy commercial district in the capital. “The negotiations lasted a few years but they will lead to interaction with other countries,” he said, echoing remarks of Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. “During these talks Mr Zarif represented our country’s positions better than his predecessors,” he added, alluding to the long-running crisis over the Islamic republic’s nuclear programme.

Hamid Bahri, an engineer, appeared relieved the talks in Vienna were finally over. “Any deal is better than no deal. There is no bad deal because each side will have benefits and the world powers will secure their interests in Iran in the coming few years,” he said. The possibility of cooperation between Iran and the West in a conflict-strewn Middle East, typified by Islamic State group jihadists in Iraq, Syria and beyond, also won support. “Now the terrorist groups will be destroyed gradually,” Bahri said. “When we speak of a political accord, it means that in the future they will definitely talk and cooperate on other issues as well.”

Others pointed to the need to try to open up the economy to competition and reverse the fortunes made by so-called “sanctions busters” on the black market that thrived under the nuclear standoff. “The sanctions were very profitable for some within Iran and thank God their hands will be cut from now on,” said Omid Shaterzadeh, a 27-year-old finance sector employee. Social media also filled up with reaction to the deal. “Hello world, here’s our unclinched hand & open arms, let’s give true friendship/peace a chance,” a user named Soleil wrote on Twitter, which is filtered by Iranian authorities but accessible via illegal software that circumvents censorship controls. — AFP

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This article was published on 14/07/2015