Hugs From Iran

Posted on June 16th, 2012 in News and Commentary

NEW YORK TIMES Op Ed by Nicholas D. Kristof:    “We love America!” gushed a former military commando, now a clothing seller, my first evening in the spiritual center of Mashhad. He was so carried away that I thought he might hug me, and although he acknowledged that his business was suffering greatly from Western sanctions, he said he blamed his own leaders.

That was far from a universal view. I encountered many Iranians — especially in the countryside — who strongly support the Iranian authorities and resent what they see as American government bullying. But while Iranians are far from monolithic, one feature was ubiquitous: the warmth of Iranians when they discovered I was American…

To me, Iran feels like other authoritarian countries I covered before they toppled. My guess is that the demise of the system is a matter of time — unless there’s a war between Iran and the West, perhaps ignited by Israeli strikes on Iranian nuclear sites. That, I sense, would provoke a nationalist backlash and rescue the ayatollahs. More on what I found on my journey in forthcoming columns…   (more)

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"....I have never made it a consideration whether the subject was popular or unpopular, but whether it was right or wrong; for that which is right will become popular, and that which is wrong, though by mistake it may obtain the cry or fashion of the day, will soon lose the power of delusion, and sink into disesteem." Thomas Paine, Common Sense, on "Financing the War", March 5, 1782

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