Iran pride and worry

President Donald Trump's hardened stance towards Iran evoked a mixture of indifference and national pride among Iranians today but many were concerned about economic hardship should a multinational nuclear deal unravel.

By TT Bureau in Ankara
  • Published 15.10.17
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Ankara, Oct. 14 (Reuters): President Donald Trump's hardened stance towards Iran evoked a mixture of indifference and national pride among Iranians today but many were concerned about economic hardship should a multinational nuclear deal unravel.

In a major shift in US foreign policy, Trump said on Friday he might ultimately terminate the 2015 agreement that lifted sanctions in return for Tehran rolling back technologies with nuclear bomb-making potential.

"Who the hell is Trump to threaten Iran and Iranians? Of course we don't want economic hardship, but it does not mean we will be their puppet and do whatever they say," said homemaker Minou Khosravani, 37, a mother of two in the central city of Yazd.

Within minutes of Trump's speech, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani went live on state television, ruling out any renegotiation of the deal Iran signed with major powers. He also signalled Iran would withdraw from the agreement if it failed to preserve Tehran's interests.

Tired of economic adversity during years of tough sanctions over Iran's nuclear programme, many Iranians still fervently back the decision by Iran's clerical rulers to resist US pressure.

"I am not a regime supporter. But I side with Iran's rulers against Trump and his illogical pressure on Iran," said hairdresser Ziba Ghanbari, 42, when contacted by Reuters in the northern city of Rasht.

Iranian authorities say 15 per cent of the country's workforce is unemployed. Many formal jobs pay a pittance.

Lack of foreign investment, if more sanctions are imposed, will deepen the unemployment crisis. Currency exchange shops are refusing to sell US dollars. Iranians fear new sanctions will also see the price of food, including rice, bread and dairy products, rise.

"My worry is that the economy will go back to the sanctions era when we had difficulties to find essential food and even medicine. I want my son to have a good life," said elementary schoolteacher Gholamali Part, 43, in Tehran.

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