Iranians hopeful — and fearful — for new year as Nowruz celebration nears

TEHRAN — The Iranian new year arrives with the first moment of spring on Wednesday afternoon, and many here say they are happy to close the book on the past 12 months.

This year — 1391 on the Persian calendar that Iran uses — was by many accounts the most financially difficult for Iranians since the 1979 inception of the Islamic Republic. Western-led sanctions over Iran’s nuclear program have damaged the country’s economy and contributed to a massive currency dive that has dented the purchasing power of ordinary people.

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