An Outside Insider Probes the Iranian Psyche
// / Ali Gharib

While in New York this fall for the UN General Assembly, conservative Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad admitted to National Public Radio that he watches Western television: "Of course, I'm like the rest of the people. People like movies and shows." Though most Western media is banned or censored, it's well known that many Iranians regularly watch Hollywood blockbusters, US television and international news on illegal satellite dishes. Many Iranians, in fact, are familiar with the culture of US, even if only what they're watching. However, most people in the US, including some influential ones, have little understanding about the culture, people, or politics of Iran. Part of this disconnect is the complexity of Iran today. The other part is the failure to get people who understand Iran to explain what goes on in the powerful country of more than 70 million.

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