- Although the relentless and incessant spates of mainstream
media's psychological warfare have turned Iran into a hazardous and insecure
region in the eyes of global public opinions, thousands of Western tourists
"take the risk" of traveling to Iran each year to behold in person
the concealed and withheld realities of the peaceful and magnificent Iran
which a hawkish leader had idiotically categorized as a part of the so-called
"Axis of Evil".
- The American, French, German, British and Australian
citizens who voluntarily travel to Iran to discover the veiled face of
this ancient land usually confess identically that Iran had not been what
they had thought. The interesting similarity in the viewpoints and statements
of the Western citizens who find their preconceptions and prejudgments
about Iran absolutely unfounded and erroneous upon visiting the country
clearly reveals the fact that the Western corporate media are portraying
Iran antagonistically and this is simply a misleading indoctrination to
the global audiences who don't have sufficient information about Iran,
its ancient civilization, history and contemporary developments.
- The foreign tourists, specially the western journalists
and artists who come to Iran to examine the veracity of their countries'
media propaganda, usually get surprised and astonished by arriving at the
splendor of Iran, its cultural heritage, industrial advancements and natural
- The Western mainstream media's dominant trajectory with
regard to Iran is mere demonization and nothing else. They never run a
documentary about the ancient buildings of Iran. They never show the glorious
mosques and palaces of Iran. They never introduce the young geniuses and
talents of Iran. They never allow anything about the scientific and artistic
breakthroughs of Iranians to be disclosed and discussed. They never allow
their audiences to know that Iran has been historically the land of architecture,
carpet, saffron and pistachio. Their only agendum is to shrewdly withhold
from the public what exalts Iran and maliciously exaggerate what chips
away at Iran.
- However, those who have come to Iran and touched the
distorted truths about the country can best evaluate the authenticity of
what their media tell them of Iran.
- In April 2009, a group of 9 American movie stars and
directors headed by Sid Ganis, the former President of Academy of Motion
Pictures Arts and Sciences, traveled to Iran to share experiences with
the Iranian cinema activists and filmmakers. Upon returning to the U.S.,
Sid Ganis gave an interview to the Foreign Policy Journal and confessed
that Iran was entirely different than what he had imagined: "We were
met with an incredibly warm and hospitable welcome by the filmmakers of
Iran, and the people in general. Everywhere we went, people approached
us to talk and take pictures with us Iranians are very sophisticated, educated
and culturally literate people and they have access to far more western
media and technology than any of us had realized."
- "Iran has been so difficult to visit for Americans,
and there are so many preconceptions about it, that it's hard to get an
accurate picture without actually going there yourself. Every day, and
virtually every hour, we encountered something that was interesting, extraordinary
or surprising about Iran," said Ganis.
- Earlier, a group of New Zealander tourists, headed by
the New Zealand Herald journalist Jill Worrall had traveled to Iran in
January 2009 and visited its large, attractive cities, including Tehran,
Isfahan, Shiraz and Kish island.
- In an interview with the Finland's Ovi Magazine, Jill
Worrall described her feelings about Iran and the psychological warfare
which is targeted toward its people: "I have never believed the "axis
of evil" label, specially given that the phrase was coined by someone
for whom I have absolutely no respect and certainly no confidence in terms
of his opinions. I've spent more than 20 years as a journalist and realized
long ago that what is portrayed in the media and what is reality is often
very different. I also believe that before you make any comment about a
country, or for that matter any person, you should visit it first, see
it for yourself and talk to the people there."
- "I absolutely agree that Iran is the most misunderstood
country in the world in my experience at least but I suspect even
among the countries I haven't visited none gets quite as much bad press
as Iran. It's true that even many New Zealanders, who are legendary for
being well-traveled, often think I'm going to Iraq and I'm afraid as you
well know many people often mistakenly refer to it as an Arab country,"
- The same statements and declarations have been made by
a number of other Western figures several times. The American author and
TV personality Rick Steves who traveled to Iran in November 2009 writes
in his personal website: "Esfahan, Iran's "second city"
with 3.5 million people, is a showcase of ancient Persian splendor. One
of the finest cities in Islam, and famous for its dazzling blue-tiled domes
and romantic bridges, the city is also just plain enjoyable. I'm not surprised
that in Iran, this is the number-one honeymoon destination."
- Another notable American who weighed in on Iran and his
experience of traveling to this marvelous land was Shannon Kelley, the
independent movie consultant and the Director of Programming of the Morelia
International Film Festival in Morelia who attended the first edition of
Cinema Verite International Documentary Film Festival in Tehran as a guest.
Kelley believes that Iran is a wonderful country: "I expected that
some conversations might be impossible, or that I might be viewed with
hostility. I attribute this to the excesses of the international press;
but in the contrary, I found a community of like-minded, hospitable, curious
people, including complete strangers who approached me with great energy
and kindness. I spent a woefully short amount of time in Iran, but my point
of view on what is possible between us has dramatically shifted, for the
- Anyway, the people whom we just cited were only few among
the thousands of those who come to Iran and find their expectations to
be totally wrong. The stream of black propaganda and demonization may continue;
however, the conscience and morality are the values which will be perpetuated
by those who are seeking truth, and the truth of Iran needs ceaseless endeavor
to be demonstrated.