Suffering for years under tough economic conditions, the Iranian people hope to see the US sanctions against their country lifted by the Joe Biden administration, while appealing to the Tehran government to take a step for the resolution of the problem.
The dispute between Washington and Tehran about the sanctions, Iran’s missile program, the 2015 nuclear agreement and regional issues have not subsided.
Biden ruled out on Feb.7 the prospects of lifting sanctions on Iran until Tehran stops enriching uranium.
In his first interview since taking office last month, Biden said his administration would not ease sanctions to get Tehran back to the negotiating table after former President Donald Trump pulled out of the 2015 nuclear accord with Iran and reintroduced sanctions related to its nuclear program.
Biden's comments to the CBS network indicate the current standoff would continue as Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei demanded Washington lift the sanctions before his country returns to its obligations under the deal that saw it curtail uranium enrichment.
The Trump administration reinstated economic sanctions against Iran while pulling the US out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear deal, with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany.
The deal saw Tehran accept unprecedented curbs and inspections on its nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in sanctions relief.
- Expectations from Biden administration
Iranian citizens said their administration was blamable regarding the nuclear deal and US sanctions, saying it must take a step back.
Some of the conservative voters said that authorities should not make concessions to the US, but they still noted that the lifting of the sanctions would be in Iran's interest.
“Tehran and Washington must sit at the negotiating table and change their positions. The two countries should make efforts to maintain the nuclear agreement. This is good for both Iran and the US”, Sasan Jalili, a young tradesman from Tehran, said.
“The new administration’s taking office in the US is a good opportunity to resume negotiations. The two sides must reach a reconciliation as the Iranian people are in a very really difficult situation due to the cost of living and financial hardship,” Jalili added.
Iranian Abulfazl Abadi echoes a similar opinion. “Biden should do a favor and lift the sanctions. If the sanctions are not lifted, the situation of the people will be much worse. In turn, the Iranian state must adhere to its commitments under the nuclear deal.”
Behmen Serahani, a retired Iranian, believes that, “Iran's economic problems will not be resolved if the US does not lift the sanctions. Both Iran and the US should take a step.”
Hossein Ahmedi criticized Tehran administration for the economic difficulties the people are currently facing.
“The problems we are experiencing have nothing to do with the US and other countries. Sanctions, cost of living and other problems stem from the administration within the country. Nothing will change even if the sanctions are lifted. Structural reforms must be made in the country,” Ahmedi noted.
- Disagreement between Rouhani gov’t, parliament
There have been significant disagreements between President Hassan Rouhani's reformist government and the conservative-dominated parliament on issues of resisting US sanctions.
Iran's conservative lawmakers, who have an overwhelming majority in parliament, rejected negotiations with the US on the country's missile program and the 2015 nuclear agreement.
The two have adopted diverging approaches especially on a recent "strategic plan" by parliament, which called for accelerating nuclear activities to "neutralize" the impact of the sanctions.
Government officials initially opposed the plan, but approval by the country's top supervisory body, the Guardian Council, eventually turned it into law, obliging the government to implement it.
*Writing by Zehra Nur Duz