This week in New York City, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani spoke before the United Nations General Assembly, addressed a UN nuclear disarmament conference, and was interviewed by Christiane Amanpour, David Ignatius, and Charlie Rose, while his foreign minister, former UN Ambassador Mohammad Javad Zarif, had a closed-door one-on-one meeting Thursday with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry – the first such direct contact between senior Iranian and American officials in thirty-four years.
Meanwhile, CNN correspondent Reza Sayah has been reporting from Tehran, filing stories rarely seen in the mainstream Western media. He is letting Iranians speak for themselves.
In his latest dispatch, Sayah sets up an “open mic” on a bustling street in the Iranian capital, asking ordinary Iranians – whom he describes as “some of the kindest and most educated in the region” – to tell Americans “what they really think.”
“We Iranian people don’t have any problem with America,” a young man says, his sentiments echoed by an older woman with red hair, wearing a loosely-tied green head scarf. “We love Americans,” she insists in perfect English (like many of those interviewed), but explains that the government of the United States is “not fair,” imploring, “Be fair to the world.”
“Our problem is with American politicians, those who are after war and bloodshed,” a young woman explains, adding, “Your behavior is not very good. Your politics is about war and it’s terrifying.”
A number of others agree. “America has imperial plans and ideas. It wants to dominate.” “You’re not the boss of the world. You shouldn't think that you’re in charge of how the world runs. You need to have equal respect for all countries.” “Why should we be controlled? Who needs America to control us?”
The woman in the green scarf, looking straight into the camera – and into the eyes of the intended American audience – asks, “We are dangerous? We are dangerous? How many wars did we have? Can you tell me? Can you tell me?”
Watch the 3-minute report here:
Originally post at Muftah.