Iranians Sound a Little Fed Up With Leaders

And many are remarkably 'pro-American': Nicholas Kristof
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jun 14, 2012 3:24 PM CDT
Iranian anti-riot police officers stand at attention as they listen to the Iranian national anthem prior to a soccer match with Qatar in Tehran, Iran, Tuesday, June 12, 2012.   (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

(Newser) – It's been eight years since Nicholas Kristof last visited Iran, and this time around, people "seem more discontented," he writes in the New York Times. Kristof blames that on economic troubles—and while Western sanctions are partially to blame, a "surprising number of Iranians" hold their own government accountable. Indeed, many are comfortable complaining privately about their leaders. "The biggest factor that has turned people against Islam is this government," said one woman.

Despite the anti-government sentiment, Iranians in general now seem "more scared" of activism and don't want to be quoted on their views. "It is not possible to tell the truth in Iran," said one interviewee. And while there are "Death to America" signs to be seen, Kristof argues that "at the grass-roots level, this may be the most pro-American nation in the Middle East." Click here for Kristof's full article, in which he writes of the "warmth" people showed him when they learned he was American. (Read more Iran stories.)

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