Iranian researchers are optimistic now that the country has freed itself from decades-long economic sanctions, thanks to a U.S.-led agreement signed by six world powers. The country’s scientific community is now expected to take a more active role in collaborating with research groups and major global projects. “International collaborations have taken a very serious dip during the sanctions,” the journal Nature was told by Shahin Rouhani, president of the Physics Society of Iran and researcher at the Institute for Research in Fundamental Sciences (IPM) in Teheran. The sanctions had deprived Iran of the resources needed to take part on equal footing with other Middle Eastern nations in the project entitled Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East (SESAME), a synchrotron light source now being built in Jordan. “I expect that the agreement will also strengthen Iran’s connection to the international scientific community, enabling me and others to visit Iran and continue connections with my many friends there,” said Herman Winick, Stanford University physicist and member of the SESAME Scientific Advisory Committee.