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- Middle East Political & Social Issues
Is Iran Really a Threat?
Many of us have known Iranians or have worked with them. As a people, they are generally like all cultures and quite sophisticated as any Western society. They have 30 million under age 35. They are a young society and embrace many aspects of America and other European ways of life from movies, computers, cars, fashion and sports. When you go to Tehran, a huge urban area, it really seems like any other city in so many ways- high rise buildings, traffic jams as bad as in LA, kids using skateboards in parks, young lovers sneaking a kiss, shopping malls filled with American and other products, interesting tourist attractions, golf course and museums.
To be honest, except for a few things that stand out, one could easily think it was not Iran. Its weird because when you hear the rhetoric from the its government and then talk to the average person there tends to be more disagreement than not. Most Iranians are proud yet despise their government's position on many topics and control of their daily lives using secret police, controlling the Internet and outside influences (which have obviously failed!).
Iran's government really does not care much about what its people really think and it is hard to believe they would be willing to allow the country to go to war over the need to obtain a nuclear bomb. But, the leaders seem to not care. It is hard to believe that it's government is fermenting more hatred in other parts of the world against America, a country many Iranians privately admire culturally. It is hard to believe the government would really seek to destroy Israel just because it is there or to support proxies to do the dirty work.
Most Iranians know full well that America is not the Great Satan and scoff at the idea because they have an Apple iphone, or Apple computer, Levi jeans, or drive a Chevy Corvette. Yet, they are unable to do much except remain silent and let the government look like idiots. Sure, some buy into the government rant even though they use Apple products but it is out of pride, like the nuclear issue that its government is subverting into dual uses- create energy and create nuclear bombs.
Most Iranians there feel helpless in doing much about what their government does or thinks. The last time it was tried during elections, the government clamped down on the protests hard and cut of its people from the world.
What needs to happen is an internal upheaval, maybe someone should assassinate the president and others in an internal terrorist attack. If the US did attack Iran over the nuclear issue, it is hard to tell who the Iranians would blame-the US or its own government.