When most westerners think of Iran’s leaders they probably think of old black and white pictures featuring surly and unsmiling faces dressed in traditional costume. Words that might come to mind include, Inflexible, Extreme, Dogmatic, Gruff…. you get the picture…..they are an unpleasant lot over there in Iran.
Having met a few Iranians during my travels and having viewed a few travel blogs by my own countrymen from New Zealand, (who I trust to paint a fair picture) I think Iranians and in particular, their leaders are falsely portrayed in the Wall St media. Deliberately so of course. After all, as former US President Jimmy Carter once said, “in order to attack and persecute a nation, you first have to demonize its people in the eyes of your countrymen” – or words to that effect.
Few nations have been so persecuted by the west as Iran, that ancient culture made up of extremely warm and highly educated people. At least the ones I met were. Judging by the pictures that are easily found on the net, it seems the leaders of Iran are too. Pictures of warm smiling Iranian leaders are never shown in the western Wall St media.
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif can laugh even standing beside the symbol of so much of the oppression of his people.
Zarif’s boss, former President Rouhani enjoyed a good belly laugh as well.
Of course, Hassan Rouhani was labelled a “moderate” in the eyes of the western pundits who deem themselves as the final arbiter of all such designations globally. What about some of the other less “moderate” leaders from Iran?
Well, even former “hard liner” Mahmoud Ahmadinejad enjoyed a bit of a lark too it seems, seen above joking around with former President of Venezeula Hugo Chavez.
And the current “hardliner” President Ebrahim Raisi? It is not hard to find one of a smiling leader…
Okay, Iran’s Supreme Leaders are those crusty and austere people who are eternally gruff and straight faced right? They are always plotting the latest way to attack America and don’t have a warm bone in their bodies right?
Yes, Iran’s Supreme Leaders DO have teeth.
Even selfies are no problem during high level discussions with regional leaders as seen below. President Putin seems a little miffed he is not near the front….lol.
We can see from these few pictures how easy it is to perpetuate negative (or falsely positive) stereotypes, simply by never showing in the western media the Iranian people’s natural inclination to laugh.
We must always ask ourselves, “what else am I not being shown?” when treading anywhere near media sources, no matter which nation they come from.
As Technical Director at CNN, Charlie Chester said earlier this year, his media outlet, CNN, is basically just a propaganda outlet.
You can search for his name on this site to read more about his unguarded comments about CNN. I wonder if he still works there?