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As Nuclear Sanctions Loom, ‘Normal Life’ Is Elusive for Iranians

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“Right now, people fear instability and they prefer to hang on to the little things they have and not risk anything,” said Shadi, a 28-year-old piano teacher. “But I am prepared to go out again to protest.” She did not want to give her family name out of fear of retribution.

Shadi said some might call her a traitor if she were to protest again, but said she did not care. “My slogan is still the same: ‘Bread, jobs, freedom,’” she said. “I don’t think that has anything to do with Trump or national unity.”

On the streets, many blamed both Mr. Trump and their own leaders for their misery, although it was clear who ultimately had pulled the plug on the deal.

“Trump made us miserable,” said Fatemeh, 22, who works at a store that sells veils. She did not want to give her family name, and only smiled when asked for a reason.

A woman with two teenage daughters walked in and overheard the conversation. Soon, she got into a debate with a man.

“Everybody is destroying us,” she said.

“We have seen the war — this is nothing,” he replied.

“Maybe for you, but I want progress,” the woman said. “Should war be the standard?”

Some saw only one solution, however improbable it seemed at the moment.

“They should sit down and talk — our leaders and the American leaders,” said Mohammad Hossein, 28, who sat behind the cash register of a coffee shop. He, too, did not want to give his family name, especially after his boss, Alireza, showed up and said he not want to give his name.


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