Santa Barbara- S County

Nuke Deal has Iranian-American Hopeful of Brighter Future

Solvang businessman says nuclear agreement is a big first step

SOLVANG, Calif. - News of the nuclear agreement between the United States, six other nations and Iran was music to the ears of Iranian-American Vahid Imani at his Solvang music studio where he's been teaching guitar and piano for years.

"Excitement and happiness, I was pretty excited that we gave peace a chance", Imani says, "this is a good first step, and we need to see what will happen, this step was in the works for so many years and we could never reach this one step so now we got it, now we all need to roll up our sleeves and cooperate with each other and work it out."

"I'm hoping this is a good first step toward a better world, toward a more peaceful world", Imani says, "but you know politics is politics and there are people that thrive on conflicts and hopefully we won't let those guys have their chance anymore and we give the peace a chance."

Imani is among many Iranians who left family members behind to escape the Islamic Revolution in Iran.

"I believe Iranians all over the world are very excited about the possibility of normalization of relationships and progress", Imani says, "this was negotiated between the United States and six other European powers and Iran and so it has a global impact, even personally for us, who knows maybe the gas prices will go down and we all benefit from it."

Imani says the agreement that includes the lifting of crippling economic sanctions against Iran is an historic moment.

"Iranian people, especially middle class and lower middle class have been squeezed for so many years, economically and internationally and so forth", Imani says, "even things as simple as shipping a box to Iran was so difficult these last few years and so expensive, and families couldn't communicate with each other, in the true way of how families send each other gifts and this and that but now but now everybody is hoping that this will help everybody, economically, socially, you know internationally."

Imani has written a children's book to help foster an understanding and appreciation of a culture he left behind years ago.

"I published a book called "Naji and the mystery of the dig" for middle grade students and the kids to help them to understand and relate to the children of their own age in another part of the world and in this particular instance its Iran", Imani says, "so the story is about an 8 year old girl in 1942 and the events happen in her yard and she starts investigating and the rest is in the book."

"My goal was to help people in the United States and western countries to feel more comfortable about people outside of these areas, specifically the Middle East and Iran", Imani says about his book, "to see that they all laugh the same, they all love to eat good food, people are people."


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