Global Politics

Iranian media find a rare, common voice in celebrating deal over its nuclear program

iran-zahif.jpg

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif addresses the media during a news conference in Ankara November 1, 2013.

Credit:

Umit Bektas/Reuters

"I opened the pages of the newspapers, looked at the headlines, and I smiled." 

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This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.

That's how a friend of mine described the moment when she read the pages of the newspapers inside Iran.

The joy and happiness of the Iranian people could be seen through the pages of the newspapers.

"Historic day in Geneva," read one. And another read: "Thank you smiling diplomat."

It's rare in Iran that newspapers from the conservative and reformist camps carry similar tones in their headlines and stories. But this time, it seemed that many editors saw the Geneva deal in positive light.

Many used a similar image to illustrate their headlines: a handshake between Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif and US Secretary of State John Kerry, something that would have been unthinkable over much of the past 35 years.

One paper, Etemad, sent out a reporter to ask Iranians about their reactions to the news from Geneva.

A bus driver reacted to the news by wondering if he would see happier faces among his passengers from now on. He said every day he hears people complain about how bad the economy is and how they are struggling.

But some Iranians are too optimistic about how much this deal might affect their lives. Some of the sanctions are going to be eased under this deal, but a lot of what is in place will remain.

For now, though, Zarif is seen as a hero by most Iranians. He was given a hero's welcome at the airport when he arrived in Tehran.

People were holding posters of Zarif as well as Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. They see them as true representatives of what they want: a better relationship with other countries.