Former FTBer Kaveh Mousavi took me to task a bit on Facebook for not mentioning in my analysis of the Iranian nuclear agreement the role that the Iranian negotiators played. Totally fair criticism, but I just don’t have the knowledge of the situation there so I had little to say about it. Thankfully, he does live there and has offered some interesting observations about the situation.
This is a victory for the Iranian people and by the Iranian people. I’m glad because we made this happen. We went to the streets and protested. We forced them to let Rouhani be elected. We forced them to accept to deal with the west. We endured all the hardships. We went through fire and ice and it is our victory. I’m reading the deal for like the tenth time. All economic sanctions will be lifted. And with Rouhani’s powerful economic team – who have already reversed the economic disasters – soon Ahmadinejad years will be no more than a nightmare. Now my students will not have to see the bleak and dark years I have seen. Their life will not be defined by trauma and fear. I’m so glad to be alive and witness history. Rouhani acknowledged that in his speech addressing the nation…Iranian far-right say Iran has given up too much in this deal. Hossein Shariatmadari who’s possibly the most loathsome extremist I know of has said “We gave up the saddled horse and they gave us the torn tether instead”. American and Israeli right-wing says Iran hasn’t given up enough. I wonder how the same text can be interpreted so widely differently, it’s not even a scripture. (Spoiler: the enemies of the deal are lying or very ignorant).
I think these observations are really important. The fact that this deal strengthens the hand of reformers in Iran against the hardliners could be a huge development. And the fact that the situation there is so close to what it is here, with the right wing throwing a fit in each country, reminds us that the real battles may not so much be between factions within each country but between progressive and reformist movements against those who protect the status quo or even seek regression within multiple countries. We should work for solidarity between those movements in the United States and Iran.