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Myths about Iran

From the Supreme Leader to the economy to nuclear weapons, the west is all wrong on Iran—and these misconceptions will have consequences.

Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the current Supreme Leader of Iran. Photo: DragonFire1024

Though Iran remains the intense focus of western media and politicians, it is largely misunderstood. Common notions of the Islamic Republic are that it is: a puritanical and religious state; dominated by an austere dictator; presided over by a fanatical xenophobe; burdened by an economy that is collapsing due to sanctions; developing the nuclear bomb. But these are all myths.

First, Iran is theocratic only to a degree and is not puritanical. It has a written constitution, separation of powers, periodic elections and a judicial system. The country’s…

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