Monday’s missive raises the hope that, eventually, Iranian activists will not have to turn to public statements to spark such discussions. “We look forward to a day in the future when Iranians no longer have to write open letters to Americans, but can meet face to face with mutual respect and dignity based on shared civilizational values that bind us together as citizens of this planet,” the letter states.
Moreover, the letter comes amid an escalating grassroots push, as people across the world stage rallies, sign petitions, and call representatives urging them to accept the deal. Advocates of the accord are up against a well-heeled campaign against the deal being waged by legislative hawks, AIPAC, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
People in Iran, and the diaspora, have been a key voice calling for diplomacy. In August, Iranian civil society leaders unveiled a social media campaign rallying support for the deal in a series of short videos. Organizers in the Iranian diaspora have staged rallies around the world backing the agreement.
And in June, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran released a report showing that the country’s civil society leaders unequivocally support a nuclear deal with Iran. Interestingly, the report concluded that support for the deal among interviewees is unanimous—even among those critical of the government and skeptical that benefits will be fairly distributed.
According to Hashemi of the University of Denver, this support is strong because the alternative would be potentially catastrophic: “It would open a pathway to another war in the Middle East, this one against Iran, which would be devastating for Iranian society. It would likely lead to increased economic sanctions which would have horrible impacts. What is often forgotten in the U.S. is that sanctions adversely affect the average citizen, not the ruling elite.”
Also, continued Hashemi, “political rejection of the deal would strengthen hard-line conservative forces in Iran who are strongly opposed to this deal and in many ways mirror the rhetoric and attitude of Republicans in United States.”
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