Hope, optimism, and lifting up the nation’s collective spirit
Such support—and hope—is not surprising. Over the past decade, many Iranians have experienced a collective state of despair and hopelessness in the face of debilitating sanctions, international isolation, and domestic repression, especially coming on the heels of eight years of the dysfunctional governance and economic mismanagement of the Ahmadinejad administration.
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Rouhani’s efforts to reach a negotiated solution to the conflict over Iran’s nuclear program, thereby lifting the sanctions and ending Iran’s international isolation, has created a palpable sense of hope that an agreement would at least offer a chance to end the country’s downward spiral and provide potential for a brighter future.
This hope was frequently expressed by the individuals interviewed in this study, even if laced with doubts, fears, and uncertainties regarding the extent to which their lives might actually change after an agreement.
If there is a resolution, our national pride will be boosted, and this would help us feel better, help us become more hopeful. A life with hope…is something we have not had for a long time.
–Lili Golestan, Writer and Publisher
[An agreement] will have its first impact on society’s collective mental state. While many predict this might be short-lived…the psychological impact of this victory in the different sectors of the society will definitely not be short-lived. Such a positive impact can even move people to take action to improve their conditions.
–A Journalist in Tehran and Former Political Prisoner
If this agreement is made, it will have a positive and serious impact on all of our lives. Although there are no guarantees, it could bring peace of mind, a better way of living, better thinking, and a better economic situation across all professions.
–A Playwright, Theater Director, and Publisher in Tehran
I hope the nuclear negotiations come to a [successful] conclusion because my society needs peace and welfare and this agreement can provide that peace and welfare.
–Aboutorab Khosravi, Novelist and Literature Teacher
If we reach an agreement, good opportunities in every area will definitely develop, and we can demand our rights as human beings. But if there is no resolution, I can’t tell what may happen. At any rate, I am hopeful and I wish for an agreement.
–Mahmoud Dolatabadi, Author