Iran. Hear us - not our government!

In January this year, Iran resumed nuclear research and development. Iran’s Government explains that this will help the country provide more energy for its 70 million people. But although Iran has not violated its Nonproliferation Treaty commitments, its nuclear development has also included enrichment – an achievement that Iran’s critics point out could now be used in the production of nuclear weapons. The confrontational tone of Iran’s recently elected President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad – including suggestions that Israel should be bombed – has further stirred suspicions that the country’s nuclear ambitions are not entirely peaceful. These events are providing the US Government with ammunition to cast Iran as a hostile Muslim country whose aggression urgently needs to be addressed by the UN and the international community. So when English photojournalist *Jeremy Curl* visited Iran earlier this year, he was surprised by the warm welcome he received. From the capital Tehran, through the cities and into the rural provinces – even in a police cell after being accused of spying – he found some of ‘the friendliest people I’ve ever met’. He introduces just a few of them here.

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