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Iran: An Axis of Evil or Paradise? 
.... Does history repeat itself or not? In 1979 Iran stood up against the world, which watched hopelessly for the next 25 years how any attempts at democracy in the state ruled by ayatollahs and mullahs ended up with many Iranians and others being killed, tortured, and jailed. That did not stop many allies of the U.S. to continue profitable relations with the Iranian government, benefiting profusely from the U.S. embargo against Iran. Is there anyone who believes that this time is different? 

The Middle East has been a major issue in international politics, especially in the last few years. While Iraq is a country drawing the most of our attention, the neighboring Iran is the power which can “make or break” any future of democracy in Iraq and in the Middle East in general. Called an “Axis of Evil” by the present U.S. administration, Iran seems to be playing a dangerous game with the West threatening us with its nuclear capabilities and increasing military prowess, all in the name of Allah.

Thus, the common perception of this country is very negative in the U.S. as affirmed continuously by official media and numerous governmental representatives. However, the truth is not that simple. 

This presentation is designed to show “the other face” of Iran. It points out that Iranian leaders, ayatollahs and mullahs, are not only politically savvy and economically shrewd, but might become important partners in the U.S. war on terrorism and eventually even an ally in this dangerous part of the world. The pragmatism of mullahs and their adaptability to the ever-changing reality created by wide-access to Internet and satellite TV allow the younger generation to initiate democratic changes within Iranian theocracy. 

Iranian leaders are often portrayed in the media as “religious fanatics,” but in reality many of them are very pragmatic and adaptable. Instead of arresting millions of Internet and Satellite TV users (both officially “forbidden”), mullahs are busy selling Internet lines and setting up cable TV systems regulating them in the process. 

Some mullahs enjoy their secular power, especially when becoming a mullah is a career move for otherwise destitute villagers. They are the ones who order others around more frequently than those who attained their status through deep religions studies and/or blood affiliation with Prophet Muhammad (black turban). 
.... This white-turban mullah is a typical “power” mullah who detests foreigners and anyone whom he perceives to threaten his status. 
Al-Ostaadh Shaikh Reza Shariati is a very well educated man who believes in dialogue with the West, mutual understanding and existence in the atmosphere of peace in the name of Islam. 
This black-turban ayatollah meets with his followers everyday in one of numerous madrasas (religious schools) of Eshafan discussing the holy message of the Qur’an, not modern politics. 

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