With the drumbeat of war with Iran sounding off and on, misconceptions about the government, people and culture of the country are being bandied about.
University of Delaware history professor Rudolph Matthee, who has been researching Iran for decades, can help set the record straight and bring some understanding to the situation.
- Ironically, America – especially in its current state – bears some resemblance to Iran. Both are vibrant countries with dysfunctional governments that often send mixed messages to their people and global adversaries, Matthee says.
- Shouts of “death to America” are not commonplace in Iran, Matthee explains. “Most Iranians love America as a system and an idea, in part because they loathe their own government.”
- Many Americans see Iran as a dark, backward, medieval country. Not the case, Matthee says. In fact, Iranians are a highly educated people and the country is quite modern with a well-developed infrastructure including a full Internet connection. Unlike neighboring Iraq, Iran is a stable nation state with deep roots.
- Iranians who come to America are highly successful. Firouz Naderi directed NASA’s Mars project; Gholam Peyman invented LASIK eye surgery; and Pierre Omidyar, an Iranian-American born to Iranian parents, founded e-Bay.
Matthee can speak to the history of Iranian-American relations and how the nation and its people view Donald Trump’s words and actions.