Omid Memarian

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Why Iranians are following the U.S. presidential elections seriously?

During the last few months covering the U.S. primary elections has been the major part of blog in Farsi. The reason? It’s simple. Iranians love the U.S. Surprisingly many Iranians differentiate between U.S. politics and American people or culture. People think that their government’s animosity toward America has done more harm than good.

I’ve grown up with two myths about the United States: Ayatollah Khomeini’s depiction of the U.S. as “Great Satan” on one hand, and the idea of the American dream on the other. Many Iranians prefer to choose the second option. So I try write about the myths of America and the real America.

Regarding my observation, many Iranians are obsessed with Barack Obama. If he goes to Iran, I’m sure he could fill Tehran’s Azadi Stadium, which has a capacity of 100,000. To a large extent this is because of the nature of Obama’s message about change and hope. Iranian people truly want to change their situation, get rid of decades of marginalization and restore their reputation in the world.

They feel connected to his message of change. They are tired of living under the threat of economic sanctions and military attacks. Obama’s remark about initiating a dialogue with Iran translated for many Iranians into hopes of normalizing the relationship between the countries and Iran rejoining the international community. For many Iranian women struggling for women’s rights, Hillary is incredibly inspiring. Sen. McCain, on the other hand, they see as just as a third term of President Bush, and I see no reason for them to connect to him.

(Don't miss Time online today's article as well)- "How Iran sees the U.S. primaries?"


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