Winston Churchill famously said that the Middle East is the “graveyard of great empires.” Today, American politicians still struggle to understand and accept this country. Many politicians take a hostile approach to the country of 80 million Persians, most of whom believe in the Twelver Shia branch of Islam.
The Obama administration is currently choosing to negotiate with Tehran, which is causing frantic reactions from politicians who prefer perpetual war and conflict in the Middle East. Iran politicians struggle to peacefully interact with their neighboring countries. U.S. politicians in particular loathe how Iran supports Hamas (Gaza), Hezbollah (Lebanon), Houthis (Yemen) and Bashar Assad (Syria).
Iran is more than just a rogue country of presumed hostile, radical Muslims. Iran is a complex country with a complex history, much like the United States. Paul Mathieson is learning more and more about it. Iranian people deserve to be treated with respect like everyone else and need to be distinguished from their government. The same can be said about Americans or any other country.
Rick Steves is a well-established tour guide who famously advocates travel abroad as a way to encourage understanding and adventure. He hosts a popular public television travel show, which featured a special “Iran: Yesterday and Today.” This is one of the only positive documentaries about Iran available. Watch it and you will see beautiful cities, amazing scenery and plenty of smiling, friendly faces. See the video here on Rick Steves’ website: https://www.ricksteves.com/watch-read-listen/video/tv-show/tv-specials/iran/iran-pledge-special
If more politicians watched this documentary, then perhaps there would be less sabre rattling and antagonism towards Iran.