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"Stars (and Stripes) in Their Eyes": Iran's appealing image of America
(Excerpt from main article)
Although their leaders still call America the "Great Satan," ordinary Iranians' affection for the United States seems to be thriving these days, at least in the bustling capital. This rekindled regard is evident in people's conversations, their insatiable demand for U.S. products and culture, and their fascination with the U.S. presidential campaign. One can't do reliable polling about Iranians' views under their theocratic government, of course, but these shifts were still striking to me as a longtime visitor -- not least because liking the United States is also a way for Iranians to register their frustration with their own firebrand president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
It might startle some Americans to realize that Iran has one of the most pro-American populations in the Middle East. Iranians have adored America for nearly three decades, a sentiment rooted in nostalgia for Iran's golden days, before the worst of the shah's repression and the 1979 Islamic revolution. But today's affection is new, in a sense, or at least different.
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Photo by flickr user nasseria_slovenly
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