Sports and air transport are likely to serve as indicators of whether Iran has the flexibility to become a major node in an increasingly globalized world. At the core of Iranian efforts to become a global sports and airline hub will be its willingness to relax strict gender segregation, dress codes and its ban on alcohol.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani suffered in the run-up to crucial elections in early 2016 what amounted to at least a symbolic defeat when state-run television banned Iran's most popular soccer program from running an interview with his foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, on soccer and politics.
I am scared here at home. I have been on the receiving end of hateful glares, shoving on the sidewalks, and hateful phrases yelled at me. The fear I face here at home has made me decide not to ride the metro since the Paris attacks. I find myself using my hostile environment training for Baghdad and Benghazi here at home.
Having an Iran deal opens the floodgates of economic opportunity, breaths new life into the middle class, and raises the standard of living, which are all vehicles of change. With the passing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the deal has done a lot more for positive transformation in Iran than sanctions ever could.
Opponents to the Iran deal often say that they could have gotten a better deal. These critics are largely found in the U.S. and in Israel. Critics are right for scrutinizing any deal. They would not be doing their job if they were giving it an automatic pass. However, being critical because a better alternative is desired is not realistic.