Expectations of increased international exchanges and interactions
One area in which optimism was frequently expressed by the interviewees was the extent to which a successful agreement would allow for an increase in vital international exchanges and interactions between Iran and the rest of the world.
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Many spoke with dismay regarding the extent to which Iran’s long international isolation had immeasurably harmed the professional, academic, scientific, commercial, and cultural spheres in the country, and they believed an agreement would trigger a tremendous increase in international exchanges and interactions, at great benefit to the Iranian people.
[If an accord is reached] we can have much more reputable conferences, and invite distinguished scientists from many different countries, not just from the U.S. We can send our university students abroad. We can procure our required tools and materials for research work in a better and easier way.
–Ahmad Shirzad, Physics Professor and Former Member of Parliament
Expanded and more open international relations may have an impact on the opening of the cultural atmosphere, regardless of whether or not there is public support. It has been said that alongside the talks about improving Iran’s international relations, the topic of Iran’s joining international copyright laws is under discussion.
–A Playwright, Theater Director, and Publisher in Tehran
[After an accord], our arts and culture could be promoted on an international scale. There should be particular emphasis on Iranian literature. Our contemporary books should be translated and our authors should be introduced to the world.
–Lili Golestan, Writer and Publisher
We are a society that wants to live with the rest of the world. We want to be connected to the entire world. These conditions of isolation from the rest of the world are intolerable.
— Aboutorab Khosravi, Novelist and Literature Teacher
We hope that once the sanctions are lifted and through Iran’s contact with the rest of the world, we are able to work in a free artistic environment, and that we can change the viewpoints non-Iranians have about Iran.
–Shadmehr Rastin, Filmmaker
The fact that increased international interaction would expose society to voices other than the government’s and the state-controlled media in Iran and thus facilitate the ability to counter the Iranian government’s narrative of events—specifically the state’s claims regarding its record on civil, political, and cultural rights and freedoms—was not lost on many of the respondents.