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Iranians Express Jubilation At Historic Nuclear Deal

  • Frud Bezhan

In Iran, euphoric reactions are pouring in after a historic nuclear agreement was reached between Tehran and world powers.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action, announced by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and others in Vienna on July 14, is aimed at curbing the most controversial elements of Tehran's nuclear program while easing international sanctions and isolation of Iran.

And many Iranians clearly regard it as a big stride forward for their country, whose poisonous confrontation with the West could deescalate as a result.

Some Tehranis sounded their horns in celebration in the streets of the capital.

But many others appeared to put festivities on hold until sunset, in line with the Islamic holy month of Ramadan and daytime summer temperatures of around 40 degrees Celsius.

Iranian authorities have said they are making preparations for a major celebration. Iranian police have been deployed on the streets of the capital.

'Fantastic News'

"It's great news because the economy will boom," Behnam Arian, an accountant, told Reuters in Tehran. "The negotiations lasted a few years, but they will lead to interaction with other countries. During these talks Mr. Zarif represented our country's positions better than his predecessors."

"We have been waiting for it for so long," Amir Tehrani, a 34-year-old English teacher, told Bloomberg in Tehran. "I just hope that the pressure on our lives and on the cost of living will be reduced."

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Shahnaz Khonsari, an art gallery owner in Tehran, was more cautious.

"We can't expect this agreement to miraculously fix the messed-up economy, but hopefully it will be a step," Khonsari told Bloomberg. "It's going to take time until sanctions are removed, until the impact of the deal becomes clear, until goods can be imported and businesses reinvigorated. But it's fantastic news."

'Iran Day'

Iran's Hamshahri newspaper, one of the country's biggest, brandished an "Iran Day" headline on its front page:

Aftab Daily, a reformist newspaper, echoed praise for Iran's foreign minister. On its front page, the daily compared Zarif to Amir Kabir, a popular 19th-century chief minister widely considered to be Iran's first reformist.

Zarif was also depicted by the Ghanoon Daily as a heroic archer from Iranian folklore.

Iran's English-language broadcaster Press TV put a positive spin on the agreement by maintaining that Tehran's nuclear facilities will continue to operate:

Even hard-line newspapers like Kayhan appeared to reserve judgment, possibly awaiting the reaction of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say in all political and religious decisions.

Social Media Abuzz

Social media -- filtered by Iranian authorities but accessible via software that circumvents censorship controls -- lit up after the deal was announced.

Iranians posted photos from of their TV sets as U.S. President Barack Obama's speech was broadcast live on Iranian state TV.

"One day, Hitler ordered bloodshed from a Vienna balcony," an Iranian wrote on Twitter. "Today from another Vienna balcony diplomats closed a path to war."

Another Iranian declared "Iran's victorious peace":

Some Iranians used the #IranWinsPeace hashtag to express their joy.

One Iranian tweeted:
"Hello, world
Goodbye sanctions
Iran's 12 nuclear dossier closed
Iran- P5+1 reach a deal"

'Win-Win'

Zarif called the "historic" nuclear deal a "win-win" for both sides and that it "would open new horizons."

President Hassan Rohani said the country's "prayers have materialized."

Former President Mohammad Khatami also sent a congratulatory statement.

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    Frud Bezhan

    Frud Bezhan covers Afghanistan and the broader South Asia and Middle East region. Send story tips to bezhanf@rferl.org

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