Thousands stormed New York City's Times Square on Wednesday in protest of the Iran nuclear deal, Al Jazeera reported. The deal, which was the product of several years of negotiation primarily between U.S. President Barack Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, has met with mixed reactions from politicians and civilians worldwide. Many have hailed the deal as groundbreaking, while others fear it could embolden Iran.
The deal broke a 12-year standoff between Iran and many Western nations, ending sanctions on Iran in exchange for Iran getting rid of 98 percent of its current enriched uranium. The agreement aimed to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power, and many have been skeptical on whether the current deal achieved its intended goal.
According to the Times Square event's organizer, Jeffrey Wiesenfeld, there were 10,000 people present, though. that number hasn't been confirmed. Protesters expressed fear that the nuclear deal posed a threat to Israel, Iran's neighbor and longtime foe. Right-wing Jewish groups, evangelical Christians and Republican members of Congress were present at the protest. Many demonstrators carried American flags or posters denouncing the deal and Obama's role in it.
Republican presidential hopeful George Patakai was one of the speakers for the rally. The former New York governor said, “This isn’t a bad deal, it’s a God awful deal that must be rejected,” according to Haaretz.
According to a Pew poll published July 21, 48 percent of U.S. respondents replied that they disapproved of the deal, while 38 percent approved. The poll was conducted with 1,672 people. At the time of this article's publication, the margin of error was not known.
The rally aimed to sway members of U.S. Congress against the deal, as they will need to vote to approve the deal before it becomes official.