'Freedom,' Iranians chant as they celebrate nuclear agreement

and Contact Reporter

Hundreds of Iranians poured into Tehran’s streets Tuesday night, waving flags and honking their horns to celebrate a nuclear agreement between their nation and six world powers.

“Freedom!” they chanted with their fists in the air.

In a celebration that began just after 9 p.m., residents of all ages turned up in Vanak Square and other pockets of the Iranian capital. They gathered outdoors with friends and family after the beginning of Iftar, the daily breaking of the Ramadan fast.

Many also tweeted optimistic messages after news of the country's historic nuclear agreement, hopeful for an end to years of isolation for their country.

"Even a police chief said the police will be right next to the people celebrating," @NoFacadeHirad posted on Twitter. "(I'll try to record as much as I can)."

Iranians hope the accord will ease punishing international sanctions that have roiled their economy. In exchange, Iran has agreed to limits on its nuclear program.

“It’s another revolution! Be happy!” a group of girls shouted, music blaring from their car.

Posts on Twitter and Facebook encouraged the public to roll out the red carpet for Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his team once they arrived home from Vienna, where they were negotiating with representatives of the United States and five other world powers.

"Some Iranians are already inviting ppl on social media to take part in tonight's nationwide celebration at 09:00 pm local time," tweeted Maysam Bizar of Iran's PressTV.

Many Iranians said they hoped that the deal would help ease the economic pain caused by years of sanctions.

"At least the tourism industry will be boosted since Iran is no longer an outlaw regime in the international community," said Siamak, a tour guide in Tehran who, like some other people interviewed, asked that his full name not be given when discussing the deal reached by the government.  

Vahidreza Haqparast, 38, remained skeptical about the agreement, which limits Iran's nuclear program in exchange for easing economic sanctions. For more than a decade, he said, Iranian leaders told the public that the international restrictions facing their country "meant nothing" and were worth "less than shredded paper." Now, he said, the leadership has changed its tune.

"Have I been told lies for the past 12 years?" he asked.  "I never cared about nuclear energy, but was told that we gave so much for this."

Haqparast said he expected problems to persist in Iran because of "mismanagement and corruption."  

Abbas, a high school teacher in Tehran, said he hopes the nuclear agreement will make it easier for him to pay his 1-year-old son's tuition in the years to come. 

"I wanted to enroll him in a good private school. I couldn't afford it," he said, and he hopes the deal will add better prospects for the economy. "The negotiating team ... did its best. This is the best we could achieve."

Special correspondent Mostaghim reported from Tehran and Times staff writer Parvini from Los Angeles.

Twitter: @sarahparvini

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times


12:25 p.m.: This article has been updated with additional comments and celebrations in Iran.

The article was originally published at 10:11 a.m.