LONDON (Reuters) – Iranian and US leaders have assured their nations that they are not seeking war. But among ordinary Iranians, who are already struggling to tighten sanctions, the worry that the situation might get out of hand becomes nervous.
FILE PHOTO: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani delivers a speech online at the National Army Day parade in Tehran, Iran, on April 18, 2019. The Iranians talked about heated discussions at home, on the street, and in social media.
Nima Abdollahzade, a legal advisor to an Iranian start-up, told Reuters that the prospect of war was now the main topic of conversation at workplaces, taxis, and buses.
"Apart from the worsening of the Iranian economy, I believe that the strongest effect of the confrontation with the United States is" the mental situation of ordinary Iranians, "he said." They are experiencing considerable stress. "
The United A year ago, states concluded an agreement between Iran and the world powers that curtailed the Iranian nuclear program to lift economic sanctions.
This month, tensions have sharply increased and Washington has extended its sanctions to import all countries A number of US officials, led by national security adviser John Bolton, have made Hawkian statements citing Iranian threats against US interests, and Trump himself tweeted: "If Iran wants to fight, that's official End of Iran. "
Iran has tended to dismiss hard talk as a bluff -" Psych ological warfare "by a non-combatant US government. However, some Iranians claim that tensions may have their own logic and increase the likelihood that a mistake will lead to violence.
& # 39; A DOG THAT IS NOT BARKING & # 39;
A worker activist who had spent months in an Iranian jail requesting not to be identified said, "War and sanctions are two sides of the same coin. designed by the (US) capitalist system. The working class would bear the pressure the hardest. "
Some Iranians expect pressure to lead to negotiations when former President Barack Obama tightened sanctions that paralyzed the Iranian economy and led to the 2015 agreement.
But others believe their leaders will never go back that way after Trump's re-imposition of sanctions.
"Any politician negotiating with America would be ridiculous," said one student, who also asked not to be identified. "Even (Mohammad Javad) Zarif has given that up," she said, referring to Iran's US Secretary of State.
Zarif told CNN this week that Iran "acted in good faith" when negotiating the deal Washington had abandoned. "We are not ready to talk to people who have broken their promises."
Trump said Washington is not trying to start talks, but expects Tehran to call when it's done. A US official said last week that the Americans had "been on the phone" but had not received a call from Iran.
Foad Izadi, a professor of political science at Tehran University, told Reuters that no call is coming.
"The Iranian officials have come to the conclusion that Trump is not seeking negotiations. He would like to have a phone call with Rouhani, even a meeting and a photo session, but that's not a real negotiation, "said Izadi.
Despite the claim that talks are over, Iranian leaders still say that war is unlikely. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's highest authority, said the United States would not attack because "it's not in their interests."
The logic is meaningful to Qom Mohsen Mortazavi, a young cleric who graduated from a religious school in the city.
"There will be no war because a military confrontation will not solve any of the US problems, it will only contribute to them," Mortazavi told Reuters. "Trump's cries and threats are a psychological war, a dog that can not bark."
However, political scientist Izadi disagrees, "A war is very likely." There are officials in Washington planning to spend years in Iran
Meanwhile, Iranians are coping with the day-to-day consequences of sanctions and tensions, and concern over access to products has led some Iranians to buy rice, detergents and canned food, residents and officials said Shopkeeper.
Advertisement on state television advises against stocking up A middle-aged man who goes home after work is pulled into a supermarket when he sees people panicking and buys everything he can get his hands on it, which makes the shelves more emptier.
Ali, an Iranian student in Tehran, told Reuters he was unlike too much Others did not oppose a US military invasion, believing that the case of the Islamic Republic was the only solution to the emerging economic and political problems.
"My only hope is a war with it I can take revenge. I tell my friends at the university that our only way is an armed struggle … we have nothing to lose.
Shahin Milani, a 38-year-old tweeting more than 7,000 supporters about Iranian politics Twitter believes that military intervention could never bring democracy.
"The people should do it themselves … If someone is really worried about the danger of war, he should work to create a democratic, secular government in Iran … As long as the Islamic Republic is in power, The Over Iran Will Become a Shadow of War. "
Bozorg reportingmore Sharafedin; editorial by Peter Graff