10 Myths About Iran -- And Why They're Dead Wrong
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The argument can certainly be made that Iranians face a brutally repressive government and fear for their lives if they continue to oppose the regime, but as Iran expert and scholar Farideh Farhi told me during an interview last year, many Iranians want change, but not another painful revolution at this point. Like the characters in Asghar Farhadi’s Oscar-winning film, A Separation, average Iranians are occupied with pressing daily living concerns regardless of sex or social class even if the political remains deeply personal. As Farhi noted, “When have two revolutions ever happened so closely together?”
10. Your Iranian friend’s account of the situation in Iran isn’t necessarily authoritative.
It doesn’t matter how convincing your Iranian friend sounds when he recounts his version of Iranian history or current affairs, whether he's a dentist, a personal relation or a cab driver. Remember that much of the Iranian expatriate population, millions of whom live abroad, left Iran in search of economic opportunities or for political reasons and don’t feel they can return for good even if they wanted to. Their feelings about Iran are therefore extremely complex and that will certainly play into how they describe it to others. What Iranians think about the situation inside Iran is deeply influenced by their sex, class and religious beliefs. This doesn’t mean that what they’re telling you is necessarily untrue or unimportant. But seeking verifiable facts is as important as personal testimony when trying to get a clear picture about Iran--especially now.