20 Nov 2013 09:00
Hassan Rouhani's election shook the Iranians and gave them hope for a new beginning of change in the country. The nuclear deal has received a good welcome and foreign minister Mohammad Zavad Zarif, who has a million Facebook followers, is an idol for the young generations. But everybody agrees there should be a clear improvement of internal politics. There are businessmen happy for the new relationship with Western countries, and because the "Ahmadinejiad incompetents" are not in charge any more. Those part of the Green Revolution who did not go to vote even say that Rouhani is better than nothing.
It is common knowledge that Rouhani is the last pawn Ali Khamenei can play to prevent an economic collapse - the middle class is exausted due to inflation, sanctions and corruption - and to earn time before new generations would strongly rebel.
Rouani is trying to change Iran step by step. His government is discussing a free internet, it has readmitted some students at the university after 2009 clashes, it has called back the banished (and some of them are returning), and promised to free Moussavi and Kharroubi. On the other hand, many electoral promises, as a weaker control on the press and the limitation of death penalties, are still too far away to be realized.
Iranians are more relaxed and hopeful rather than two years ago, but they know that if Rouhani fails in his economical and social mission, Iran would fall into chaos. These photos capture a country that is working for change, but still held tightly by economic sanctions and an increasingly difficult situation for the middle class of Iraq in particular.
Photos by Linda Dorigo
Text by Andrea Milluzzi