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Iran is at its nuclear junction, which way will it turn?

Iranians will mark the New Year on March 21 and the first deadline for the nuclear agreement is set at the end of March

Camelia Entekhabi-Fard

Published: Updated:

Iran is now at a crossroads. The country may hesitate and wait for the signal of Western powers to make a move, but wait too long and it could lead to an accident on the road to agreement.

Only a month away from the Iranian New Year, Nowruz, Iranians are holding on to their money and waiting to see what the future holds for them. Many believe a successful nuclear deal will alter the exchange rate between the U.S. dollar and the Iranian rial for the better.

Since many businesses operate in U.S. dollars using black market exchange rates, it’s natural that many Iranians want the dollar to lose some value against the rial.

Moving forward

Iranians will mark the New Year on March 21 and the first deadline for the nuclear agreement is set at the end of March.

In early February, the Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei signaled again that he supports the deal, but cautioned against accepting an agreement that does not offer complete sanctions relief. However, Iran’s leaders know that the process for complete sanctions relief will be a long and complicated one and that not all sanctions are related to Iran’s nuclear program.

Is the supreme leader making excuses to impede the deal?

In the past year-and-a-half, Iran’s diplomatic machine has been kicked into overdrive and a lot of progress has been made.

On one side of this deal are those who demand an improvement in their quality of life and on the other side are those who made their wealth on the back of the sanctions.

The first major consequence of a failed deal would be the inability to financially sustain the fight against ISIS in Iraq

Camelia Entekhabi-Fard

If a deal is not reached, Iran may be able to survive for a short period of time on a “resistance economy,” but will the nation be able to withstand the long term if a deal is not secured?

The first major consequence of a failed deal would be the inability to financially sustain the fight against ISIS in Iraq, the threat looming on its doorstep. This is especially so considering the current unpromising oil market.

Former Islamic Culture and Guidance Minister Saffar Harrandi said on February 13 that some 72 percent of the Iranian people support a nuclear accord that preserves Iran’s rights, Iranian media reported.

What is important for most of the Iranians is to have their New Year’s holidays sweetened by a successful nuclear deal and the promise of a better future. Iranians wait with baited breath to find out whether the New Year will bring a nuclear deal, or none.

This article was first published in al-Hayat in February.

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Camelia Entekhabi-Fard is a journalist, news commentator and writer who grew up during the Iranian Revolution and wrote for leading reformist newspapers. She is also the author of Camelia: Save Yourself by Telling the Truth - A Memoir of Iran. She lives in New York City and Dubai. She can be found on Twitter: @CameliaFard

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.