Pro-peace rallies took place in 100 cities across the world on Saturday in support of the historic nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers.
Organized by volunteer Iranian expats and unaffiliated with any political groups or campaigns, the #SupportIranDeal mobilization spanned continents as participants called for peace and denounced well-funded efforts to derail the deal.
“Our aim is to make a video using the photos of our events around the world, and show our support for the agreement with Iran to the rest of the world because this deal is ours, that will empower us, and strengthen our elected officials to help the gradual reform we want for our country,” organizers declared.
“These days there are proponents of war in the U.S. spending millions of dollars to kill this agreement,” their statement continued. “This deal is still fragile, this seed of reconciliation has to be protected until the day it spreads seeds of peace all over the region. It is pending a final approval by the U.S. congress in September. Many senators and representatives’ vote is going to depend on the overall opinion of the general public toward the deal.”
“The alternative to this deal,” the organizers warned, “is another billion-dollar war in the Middle East.”
Activists said previously the marches, organized partly by Iranians living abroad, will be a show of solidarity with Iran against “pro-war lobbies” in the U.S. Organizers said they have no affiliation with any group or political party.
The agreement reached in Vienna provides for a progressive and conditional lifting of crippling international sanctions on Iran, in exchange for guarantees that the Islamic Republic will not develop a nuclear bomb.
The deal has been publicly and vocally opposed by many members of the U.S. Congress as well as by Israel, and has raised concerns among U.S. allies in the Gulf.
A U.S. State Department spokeswoman acknowledged the campaign this week on social media.
“I have no idea who is doing this, but it’s kind of awesome,” said Marie Harf, retweeting a photo of a bike in Washington with a paper tag reading “Support #IranDeal,” the campaign’s name. One of Iran’s vice presidents also shared a link to “the voluntary campaign” on her Facebook page.
Supporters of the deal “know that this agreement matters in reaching peace and a more secure and tranquil world,” said Masoumeh Ebtekar, President Hassan Rouhani’s deputy on environmental protection.