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World Update

Life after Sanctions

Mohammad Reza Mousavi

People across Iran are looking forward to better times. Six world powers lifted economic sanctions on Saturday, saying Iran has met the terms of an agreement to restrict its nuclear program.

"A morning with no sanctions"

"Sanctions have become a thing of the past"

Iranian newspapers carried headlines celebrating the lifting of sanctions. It's a welcome development. Life has been tough for Iranians, and inflation hit 45% at one time. They have high hopes the new environment will reinvigorate the economy.

"I am very happy. Now, inflation will end and prices will go down," a citizen says.

The World Bank projects the country's economy will grow nearly 7% in fiscal 2017.

One energy sector trading firm is based in the capital Tehran. It imports control valves for pipelines and other products. The boycott hurt its business significantly. Its purchase cost had risen six-fold. Sales dropped to half the pre-sanction level.

The firm expects its purchase cost to go down and incoming orders to jump dramatically as the nation's spending on energy development increases.

"I hope that the economy will get out of the doldrums and recover," the president of the company says.

A tourist agency says it plans to train tour guides more quickly. It expects more travelers will visit Iran as international relations improve.

Iran is home to 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites -- the most in the Middle East. They include the Persepolis archaeological area that dates back 2500 years.

The agency aims to use the country's rich history to develop tourism. "Our country used to be under sanctions and had a scary image but that's no longer the case," the director says.

Iranians are greatly looking forward to the country's return to the international community, and the economic benefits that go with it.

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