Ancient Persian wonders, modern Western cities and surprisingly warm welcomes await intrepid U.S. visitors
Jason Rezaian, Iranian-American journalist who finished his first documantary about Iran a few months ago has talked about his experiences and explorations during the time he was in Iran, last summer. (My interview with Jason at BBC Persian). In his latest article in San Francisco Chronicle, he gives a first hans view of the Iran's today. His half an hour interview with Andrew S. Ross, executive foreign & national editor of the San Francisco Chronicle is interesting too. It seems that Chronicle has become more interested on issues related to Iran recently... I like Yalda Moaiery's pictures contributed for this piece. She is one of the most talented photographers in Iran...
" The joke was barely out of my mouth before I regretted making it. "The Great Satan," I'd quipped when the Iranian airport security official asked me where I was from. Unsmiling, he looked me up and down and said, "Please come with me."
A thousand thoughts exploded in my head, none of them comforting. But it turned out the man only wanted to walk around the corner for a little privacy so he could ask about getting a visa to come to America.
It was a most unexpected welcome to Iran -- but not, as it turned out, all that
unusual. During the month I spent there last fall I had similar exchanges with Iranians from all walks of life, few of them interested in discussing the animosity that has existed for so long between our two governments. Even as sabres rattled a little louder last week with President Bush's Iraq speech -- which in part sounded like a not-so-veiled warning to Iran -- I was reminded that the beef is between the two governments, not the two peoples. Nobody burned an American flag in my presence. Nobody threw rocks or taunted me. Many, in fact, expressed embarrassment over the takeover of the U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1979, when 52 Americans were held captive for 444 days. "