Failure to finalize a framework agreement between Iran and the six major powers aimed at curbing the country’s sensitive nuclear work could profoundly destabilize the Islamic Republic, analysts and politicians say.
Iranians’ hopes of ending their international isolation have risen so high since the accord that failure to finalize it would generate levels of dismay that could hurt the authorities, even if the West was portrayed as the guilty party, analysts say.
“Finally it is over. The isolation is over. The economic hardship is over. (President Hassan) Rowhani kept his promises,” said university student Mina Derakhshande, who was among a cheering crowd on Friday.
“Failure of the talks will be end of the world for us Iranians. I cannot tolerate it.”
Managing popular expectations will be more difficult in Iran now, said Karim Sadjadpour, an Iran expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington.
“If the deal doesn’t come to fruition, most Americans won’t notice, while most Iranians will be devastated,” Sadjadpour said.
The tentative deal on curbing Iran’s nuclear work, reached on Thursday in Lausanne, revived hopes of an end to sanctions in return for limits on its atomic program, opening the way for economic reform and international recognition.
While the man who ultimately matters, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has remained silent over the agreement, some hardline conservatives have taken off the gloves.
'Any step taken'
Failure of the talks will be end of the world for us Iranians. I cannot tolerate it.