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Iranians Celebrate Agreement on Nuclear Talks

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And let's move on because a celebrating crowd greeted Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, as he arrived back in Tehran. And that was not the only crowd out in the streets. We reached Nasser Hadian, who teaches political science at Tehran University.

NASSER HADIAN: A number of people were celebrating, and they were happy about the deal. They have been following the news of the negotiation very closely. And everyone was expecting, you know, the good news to be - breakout, and once it broke out, quite a number people were so happy that they poured to the street and celebrated the news.

INSKEEP: What made this a matter of such vital importance for Iranians that they were watching every move of the negotiations?

HADIAN: A number of reasons. Basically, it was like a political triumph for the people. They stood for their rights, and they believe that they were able to convince the international community that their program is peaceful.

But also, for many, the sanctions were important. The expectation is sanctions are going to be removed rather quickly, and that will impact the life of many people. But there is going to be criticism because I'm sure many people would argue that Iran has given up a lot. And what they have gotten back is just some promises in the future of the removal of the sanctions. What Iran has agreed to give are very clear - the limitation, the constraint, the monitoring and inspection regimes - but how quickly and to what extent sanctions are going to be removed are very vague. I mean, they are going to use those stuff to attack Zarif and his negotiating team. It's going to happen tomorrow. Thank God today is holiday (laughter).

INSKEEP: (Laughter) Oh, today...

HADIAN: Today is a holiday in Tehran. Thank God it is a holiday. Tomorrow morning, there is going to be a thunderstorm.

INSKEEP: If this agreement is finalized - and we should say if; there's another round of negotiations on greater and greater details - how would it transform Iran?

HADIAN: This deal would hopefully help Iran to rebuild its economy, rebuild its image in the international arena and in the region as well. But as I mentioned, as I told you, Zarif is going through a hard time. If I want to put it very lightly, plenty of materials which hardliners can use to make a case that's a bad deal, plenty of materials there. They're going to say that, you know, our sovereignty has been compromised. You know, why do we have to accept such a limitation on research and development not only on facilities, not only on capacities but even research and development? And as I mentioned that the hardliners are going to use this stuff, but as long as it is limited to hardliners, I mean, they can be contained. But if some other voices, like the speaker of the Iranian Parliament, if they buy the argument, if they are also critical of the deal, Zarif is going to have a hard time in Iran.

INSKEEP: Nasser Hadian of Tehran University. Thanks very much.

HADIAN: You're welcome. Thanks a lot. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.