By Frida Zeinali
TABRIZ, Iran – Divided into two different worlds, our country was nearly bankrupt, its politicians pretending the economy remained both growing and independent.
In reality, Iran has transformed into a bipolar nation where an elite holds the majority of political, military and cultural influence and grows richer every day while middle class, working people live in poverty. With frustrating corruption scandals and young people unable to land good jobs, living conditions grow ever worse.
Industries built to provide the country’s essential needs cannot supply a nation with 77 million people. The value of our currency, the rial, has shrunk. A chronic shortage of medicine is a huge problem for patients.
The nuclear energy plans the government pursued since the 1990s made everything even harder, a key reason that Iran still faced international embargos after 35 years.
Nearly everyone felt hopeless, their patience running down.
Only a miracle could heal all of the wounds and bring back the peace again.
And now, following the announcement of a nuclear agreement between Iran and a handful of powerful countries Tuesday, the miracle is happening. There is new hope and new light for the people.
The nation is ecstatic. The streets are full of Iranians celebrating the historic deal they knew they needed.
I watched with both hope and doubt in my heart, trying to see what is happening from everyone’s angle of view. After all, though negotiators set the terms, nothing is done yet. One small, crucial step remains: the approval of the United States Congress.
This is a strong deal that Congress should stand behind. It is a victory for Iran, but also for the world.
Rejecting the landmark agreement would be a big mistake.
We all have a big opportunity to bring back peace between Iran and the world. Everyone knows it. People here are waiting and watching.
But this time, they have hope. Peace seems, at least, to be very close.
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