WESTWOOD (CBSLA.com) — A day after President Obama signed executive actions to lift economic sanctions against Iran, the impact of that deal was reverberating through the local Iranian American community — the largest Iranian diaspora community in the world.
The historic accord lifts U.S. and European Union economic sanctions and grants Iran access to about $100 billion in assets in exchange for scaling down much of its nuclear program.
The deal was touted by Obama Sunday as a major diplomatic victory.
Many local Iranian-Americans who gathered in Westwood said they were encouraged by the deal.
“Personally, I was happy to hear the news,” said Hamid Rafi, an Iranian-born, U.S. citizen.
They say it was the economic sanctions, many of which are now being lifted as part of the deal, that hit the 80 million who live in Iran the hardest.
“It actually pushed a lot of my friends away from the country just because of this,” said Pedram Farashbandi, who left Iran in 2005. Farashbandi is now an architect in the Bay Area and has dual citizenship.
He said he’s seen a very positive reaction from Iranians he has contact with on social media.
“On Facebook I can totally see the excitement and everyone is happy,” he said.
Still, Farashbandi said he’s not so certain about the nuclear aspect of the U.S.-Iranian agreement.
“We don’t trust them. They don’t trust us,” he said.