The Iranian community in Los Angeles had very mixed reactions to the lifting of sanctions against Iran, known as Implementation Day, which was initiated on January 16.
While some glowed with excitement and hope for their fellow Iranians, who have long been suffering from the sting of crippling unemployment and a lack of access to essential resources, others were less optimistic, expressing concern that the regime will ultimately use the nation’s newfound wealth for a bitter end.
“It’s great news, it’s going to be easier for people who actually live in Iran,” Soussan Arfaania, a local businesswoman, told the Los Angeles Times. She said despite concern about how the unfrozen assets would be spent by the regime, it didn’t prevent her from feeling “very positive” and optimistic that it would improve relations between American and Iran and especially Iranian Americans.
Southern California is home to the world’s largest Iranian community outside of Iran.
Implementation Day for Iran deal is an historical day for global peace and security, so, i am very happy today. pic.twitter.com/MgXtKLXxkx
— said shogaiee saadi (@shogaiee) January 16, 2016
Despite the optimism expressed by many over social media, others predicted disappointment
“The reality is, really soon they’re going to realize this puts money in the hands of a state of a sponsor of terrorism. This deal does not give any benefit to Iranian people; the only benefit comes to the regime,” Farahanipour told the Times.
Hardliners in the Iranian Regime have expressed on many occasions that the export of revolution is their ultimate goal.
It is noteworthy that Implementation Day, signifying Iran’s initial reentry into the world economy, coincided with the 37th anniversary of the day Iran’s last Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, was forced into exile and replaced with hardline Islamic cleric Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini leader of the Iranian Revolution.
Breitbart’s Editor-at-Large Joel B. Pollak points out that the “prisoner swap” that took place on Saturday between American and Iran was lopsided: “In exchange for five Americans–who were likely innocent of much of all charges–Iran will secure the release of seven guilty Iranians, plus charges dropped against 14 others who violated international sanctions and whom the U.S. wanted extradited. Two Americans still remain behind in Iran.”
Reports have revealed that President Barack Obama and his administration decided to delay plans for new sanctions against Iran for breaching international law by launching nuclear-capable ballistic missiles after the Iranian regime threatened to cancel the prisoner swap.
“Essentially, for the price of five Americans, Iran gained the ability to threaten millions of people with missiles that will one day carry the nuclear warheads the Iran deal enables the regime to develop–legally–once it expires,” Pollak wrote.
Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz.