Tuesday, 23 July, 2019

Thousands of Iranians Celebrate the Historic Deal, Hail Zarif as Hero

Thousands of Iranians took to streets Tuesday night to celebrate the news of the nuclear agreement in Vienna.

People in Tehran and other major cities gathered outside after iftar, the evening meal to break the day-long fasting during Ramadan.

There were reports of drivers on Tehran’s long, tree-lined Vali Asr street honking horns and people with hands raised in V-for-victory signs and waving from open windows. Young Iranians danced in Vanak square in north Tehran.

A smiling woman held a flower and a poster depicting Iran’s foreign minister who is also its lead nuclear negotiators, Mohammad Javad Zarif, who has become a national hero in Iran for successfully resolving the nuclear impasse. Others congratulated themselves on social networks and via text messages.

Some said they hoped it would improve their lives and change Iran’s image abroad. Others simply wanted to express their gratitude.

“Thank you Mr Zarif,” said Parvaneh Farvadi, among the hundreds who assembled at Parkway, a busy intersection in the north of the capital, shortly after sundown.

Analysts and pundits across the political spectrum welcomed the success of the diplomatic marathon that peacefully resolved the 12-year confrontation. Iranians hope the deal and the lifting of sanctions will end their country’s international isolation, ease its economic problems and allow it to play a bigger role in the region.

“We are so happy. The diplomacy worked,” Farvadi added, as people placed Iranian flags atop their car windscreens and others held balloons out of the windows. Some people even danced.

Several drivers also carried a large wooden key — the symbol of President Hassan Rouhani’s successful election campaign two years ago, after which a nuclear deal became his dominant aim.

At Parkway, most people evoked the same wish of better times, recounting a turbulent period, including recession and high inflation in which the nuclear dispute defined Iran’s image abroad.

“If you look at the street tonight it’s because we’re happy,” said Giti, 42, who returned to Iran three years ago having lived in Canada and the United States and was again considering a move abroad.

The nuclear deal may change her mind.

“Maybe the economy is going to change, especially for the young people. I was thinking about leaving, but now I will stay to see what happens,” said the computer programmer.

While some in the crowd chanted “Iran, Iran, Iran!” several groups of young students hailed Zarif in the same breath as Mohammad Mossadegh, the democratically elected premier overthrown in a US-British coup in 1953.

“Mossadegh, Zarif, Mossadegh, Zarif, these are the heroes of Iran,” they sang with flags draped across their shoulders as the road started to clog up with cars and people dodged the traffic.

Mossadegh, who was toppled after nationalising the nation’s oil industry, is regarded as one of Iran’s greatest sons.

Other celebrations took place across the capital, official media said, with pictures and video of the revelry posted on social media.

“It’s great news because the economy will boom,” said accountant Behnam Arian at Argentine Square, a busy commercial district in the capital.

Hamid Bahri, an engineer, was happy the talks were finally over after 18 days of waiting for a breakthrough in Vienna.

“Any deal is better than no deal,” he said.

Sources: Agency News

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