Thousands of Iranians publicly celebrated the nuclear deal announced recently. Drivers honked their horns; others made the “V” for victory sign; there was even dancing.
The celebration has got nothing to do with the technical detail of Iran’s nuclear program; it is all about the hope that Iran will return to normality. Hope that the economy will improve and provide salaries that meet a family’s needs; hope that Iran’s pariah status will end so trade, business, and travel around the world becomes easier.
Behind the celebration there is fear. Fear the deal will unravel and isolation and the threat of war will return with vengeance. Fear that even if the deal works out prosperity will be enjoyed by the few. The many will be left struggling.
And for the minorities, there is concern that the deal will strengthen the hands of persecutors.
As President Rouhani said in a live address on TV, the signing of the deal opens up a ‘new chapter’ for Iran. It is a new chapter full of hope – and uncertainties for Iran’s people.