TEHRAN, April 3 (UPI) -- Tehran, Iran, residents were reserved but optimistic after they heard the news of a diplomatic breakthrough that could end economic sanctions against Iran.
The capital city was noticeably quieter Thursday evening while President Barack Obama was on state television, explaining the impact of a framework nuclear agreement to which Iran and Western powers agreed, earlier in the day. The deal will include, in part, a lifting of sanctions which dramatically increased Iran's inflation rate and made global business difficult.
"Lifting of banking sanctions and limitations on banking transactions will greatly change everything," economic consultant Khadijeh Kerimi told Al Jazeera, noting prices of high-tech goods will drop because middlemen will not be involved in business dealings.
The sanctions imposed by the United States and the United Nations three times since 1979; a European Union embargo on Iranian oil, and freezing of assets of the Iranian central bank, have isolated the country of 70 million, raising prices and causing scarcities.
The agreement is expected to strengthen Iran's currency, its stock market and its oil industry. Iran could produce and sell over 750,000 more barrels of oil per day if not for the sanctions, the International Energy Association estimates.
"I was crying with happiness. It is unbelievable," commercial manager Elnaz Karimi told the New York Times. Added Mohammad Reza, 21, "We have been disappointed so many times, I really can't believe there might be an end to this."
Details of the agreement must still be negotiated; a June 30 deadline has been arranged, and it must still have the approval of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomenei, who thus far has offered no comment, and the U.S. Senate.