Iran: A Complicated Relationship

Iran is a country with a complicated relationship with the United States, which includes the US assassinating their elected president; Iran imprisoning US embassy staff for 444 days; the US supporting Iraq, Iran’s enemy, in a war that lead to a half million deaths; and Iran making threatening statements about the United States and developing nuclear capability to endanger regional and global stability as the US labels Iran “Axis of Evil” and subjects them to cyber warfare and an economic stranglehold.  Against this geopolitical backdrop, Iranians struggle with balancing government-mandated religious control and a desire for modernity.  These struggles manifest themselves in the country’s food, music, signs and murals, and apparel.  The people’s everyday interactions reflect a blend of optimism and fear.

I led delegations of international business leaders to Iran in 2013, 2014, and 2015.  The difference between the conservative past president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and the current reformist president, Hassan Rouhani, is palpable throughout all aspects of Iranian society.  There is now an increased feeling of hope and desire for normalizing relations with the West.

For articles stemming from my travels in Iran

For more images on Flickr, click here.