Iran erupts in celebrations at nuclear deal

Iran erupts in celebrations at nuclear deal
3 min read
15 July, 2015
Analysis: Thousands took to Tehran's streets to celebrate the historic nuclear deal, with reformist newspapers portraying Iran's foreign minister as a national hero.
Iranians took to the streets in their thousands to celebrate the deal [Getty]

As world leaders lined up to variously praise or condemn the landmark nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, Iranians took to the streets in their thousands to express their delight and celebrate the news.

Young Iranians even danced in the streets in northern Tehran's Vanak Square, the Guardian reported. Dancing in public has been banned as immoral in the Islamic Republic of Iran, but the dancers in Vanak were tolerated.

Bloomberg reported that Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli said on Monday that police and security forces had been "instructed to accommodate the crowds".

Many flashed V-for-victory salutes or waved Iranian flags, and several held pictures of Iran's foreign minister, Javad Zarif, who has become a national hero for successfully negotiating the nuclear deal.

The reformist newspaper Ghanoun portrayed Zarif as the mythical ancient Persian archer Arash on its front page.


The reformist newspaper Ghanoun portrayed Zarif as the mythical ancient Persian archer Arash on its front page.

Another reformist newspaper, Aftab-e-Yazd, dubbed Zarif the "Amir Kabir of our age". Amir Kabir was the popular name of Mirza Taghi Khan Farahani, a famous 19th century Iranian reformer and moderniser.

According to the BBC, state-owned Channel One was more reserved in its reporting of the agreement, attributing the deal to the "resistance" of the Iranians.

Former President Abolhassan Banisadr, Iran's first post-revolution president now living in exile, echoed the views of domestic hardliners, saying the deal was equivalent to the 1828 Treaty of Turkmenchay - in which Persia, the state which later became Iran, ceded significant amounts of territory in the Caucasus to Russian control.

Gholamhossein Karbaschi, a leading reformist and former mayor of Tehran, said the deal could help restore trust in the US lost when former US president George W Bush included Tehran in his "axis of evil" - after Iran had helped the US in its war in Afghanistan after the September 11 attacks, the Guardian reported.

Relief from sanctions

The agreement offers Iran relief from the sanctions that have blighted its economy for years and cut its oil exports in half.

It has been estimated that the Iranian economy is 15 to 20 percent smaller than it would have been without sanctions. There is certainly potential for Iran's oil exports to expand, however the high oil prices of a decade ago are now a thing of the past.

Yet the end of sanctions and the unfreezing of $64 billion of Iranian assets can only be a boon to an economy in which youth unemployment stands at 25 percent.

The prices of many basic commodities have risen, far outstripping the value of subsidies and government cash handouts.

Inflation is now running at 15 percent, down from its 40 percent levels two years ago, when President Hassan Rouhani was elected.