The Persian Paradox – Iran is much more modern than you think

Published on Spiegel Online International, by Erich Follath, April 3, 2015 (Photo Gallery).

People in the West tend to have a monolithic view of Iran. But there’s a lot more to the country than the mullah-led theocracy, and it often gets ignored. And national pride is alive and well … //

Which government cabinet is home to more ministers with doctorates from American universities than Barack Obama’s administration? The correct answer is that of of the Islamic Republic of Iran. And, no, that list does not include President Hassan Rouhani. He got his doctorate at the University of Glasgow law school.  

There are few countries in the world that are subjected to as much Western prejudice and misunderstanding as Iran. I have known the country since the era of the shahs and I have visited it more than a dozen times in the past four decades, including a recent visit … //

… Pro-West Sentiment: … //
… More Madrid than Havana: … //
… Growing Disatisfaction: … //

… A Great Civilization:

US President Barack Obama has sought to accommodate Tehran and its sensitivities. He admitted that CIA participation in the 1953 putsch against liberal Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh had been a historical mistake. He also congratulated Iran on its new year holiday, Nowrus, calling the country a “great civilization,” and he has written several personal letters to Supreme Leader Khamenei.

Despite all their differences, it appears that Secretary of State John Kerry is more comfortable negotiating with his smooth Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif, who studied international law in Denver, than with his coarser Israeli counterpart Avigdor Lieberman. And US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, the former head of the physics faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, seems to get along very well with Ali Akbar Salehi, the No. 2 man in the Iran delegation. It’s no wonder, either, given that Salehi himself graduated from MIT.

If the nuclear negotiations do ultimately fail, Tehran will decry it as a humiliation. It will follow up by eliminating any restrictions and placing all of its energy into its effort to build a nuclear bomb. It will use national pride as the argument to oblige its people to persevere through difficult times.

In an interview with SPIEGEL in 2012, Salehi — the former foreign minister, who is now the head of Iran’s nuclear program — had the following to say. “For over 30 years now, we have been living with boycott measures that ultimately make us independent and strong,” he said. “Iranian society is used to living with hardships — perhaps more so than people in Spain and Greece. We can count on the patience of our people. What about you in Europe?”

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German rallies protest world militarism & NATO warmongering (VIDEO), on Russia Today RT, April 5, 2015;

The Incredible Lightness of Being Google, Amazon, Goldman Sachs, on Dissident Voice, by Paul Kirk, April 5, 2015:
Companies and their felon bosses look to Buddhism for more lightness in their global reach to control us all. Been listening and watching Mucho Mucho people of the white persuasion, many from those elite and so inflated follow-the-great-white-professor Ivy League schools, talking about, hmm, Kenya, Middle East, Blacks in America, undocumented from Latin America. You get the picture …;

Russia boosts air defense in face of US Prompt Global Strike capacity, on Russia Today RT, April 5, 2015;

U.S. to train Nazi Troops in Ukraines Starting April 20, on Dissident Voice, by Eric Zuesse, April 4, 2015:
It has just been announced that, starting April 20, U.S. troops will start training troops of Ukraine’s Azov Battalion …;

Hate Doesn’t Pay [Video and Audio], on Democracy Now, by Amy Goodman, April 2, 2015.

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