At one a.m. on Monday morning April 5th, when our KLM flight carrying 18 members of the United Nations Association of America landed at Tehran’s new international airport I wondered what additional security measures I would witness at the airport. Would there be revolutionary guards or soldiers posted all over? Would the security be a lot more visible than in November 2009, when I was here last. The airport was calm with no signs of any tension. We went through customs without a suite case being opened or anyone being questioned or searched. This was the second delegation sponsored in one year by the greater Seattle chapter of UNA to Iran. The members of this delegation came from WA, CT, WI, CA, and Zurich, Switzerland.
In the previous visit a year ago our delegation had been invited to visit two universities but considering the tensions within Iran it seemed prudent to not attempt to set up such meetings. From the appearance of things to an outsider the country seemed calm and our travels felt very safe. As we talked to university students on the streets or cafes, many students seemed very disheartened that the Green Movement that had seemed so promising a year ago had not produced any changes that they had struggled for. Several students talked about leaving Iran to live overseas. One of the most interesting issues was that almost no matter who we spoke to in Iran and what their political leanings were, every single person I talked to supported Iran’s desire to develop nuclear energy without being dependent on the west. Even the foes of President Ahmadinejad in Iran are staunch supporters of a technologically independent Iran.
No matter what the agendas of our two governments are, as a group of Americans we were embraced by Iranians and received the warmest welcome as always.
For some interesting articles on Iran please visit: http://www.solhtours.com/Articles_on_Iran.html