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  1. Martin Herriman says

    I recently visited Iran, returning from Russia. In applying for a visa in Moscow was told there was no need (I’m Australian) and as it turned out, there wasn’t. I was welcomed at the airport just as one would be in any free society. I then spent three weeks travelling around the country, staying in five different cities and visiting magnificent sights such as Persepolis. I was amazed at the hospitality of the people and their spirit, and the sense of freedom everywhere. This may not fit the views of some sections of the population but of this I was not aware, though I knew that there had been riots following the elections some years before. I saw no poverty, much less anything like the appalling homelessness and hopelessness that marks the West Coast cities of the US. I was never approached by any formal agent or agency seeking my right to be there. i know from my university connections that the level of scholarship is high and very highly valued. Social relations are quite formal in a gallant way that might be thought to old fashioned in the West. I left with some regret realising that people outside are completely unaware of the real Iran, but swallow he view of the country urged in the Western press, i.e., that it’s a dangerous third world country). This is utterly false and contemptible.

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