Iranians and Americans misunderstand each other, but the interesting point is that they are so alike. An American has written a book about the Eagle and the Lion (Bill James, The Eagle and the Lion: The Tragedy of American-Iranian Relations. Yale University Press, 1989 [an analysis of relations between the two countries starting from the 1830s]). And in fact, the Eagle and the Lion are very similar. (the national and historic symbol of Iran or Persia is Lion ) They both have the same weak points, the same delusions, the same foolishness, the same ambitions, the same traditional values, the same stupid politicians, the same religious fanatics, the same feeling of dignity and pride, the same feeling of greatness, etc. Iranians think that Americans are liberal atheist; Iranians think that Americans are anti-God and anti-Humanity; Iranians think that Americans are either like Bush or like Obama; and Iranians think that Americans are a bunch of arrogant men or stupid bastards.
On the other hand, Americans think that Iranians are religious fanatics; Americans think that Iranians are anti-God and anti-Humanity; Americans than Iranians are either like Khamenei or like Khatami; and Americans think that Iranians are a bunch of arrogant people or stupid bastards. But indeed, they know nothing about each other and the fact that how much they are alike. Many Iranians don’t know that “In God We Trust ” is the national motto of the US. In fact, if Iranians hear about this motto, they would be deeply shocked. If Iranians know about the evangelists and Christian fanatics that work for the Second Coming of Christ , they would be deeply shocked. And if Americans know about the Twelvers and Shiite fanatics that work for the Second Coming of Mahdi they would be deeply shocked. If Americans hear that Iranians, and their great poets and great history, say: “If you have no sympathy for human pain — The name of human you cannot retain”, they would be deeply shocked.
All Iranians are not like Khamenei or Khatami, and all Americans are not like Bush or Obama. Iranians think that Iran or Persia was (and is) one of the greatest civilization of the world. They think that the Great Persia and the Persian Empire should be alive and gain its credit again. And Americans think that they are the the greatest civilization of the world. They think that the Great US and the American Empire should stay alive. But on the other hand, many Iranians and Americans think that they are human beings and they should not be racist or chauvinist. Many Iranians and Americans think that the peace is better that war, and we all are the same, we all are human beings and should help each others. In fact many Iranians and Americans think like Sa’di, one of the great Iranian poets who lived in the 13th century AD, that said (when Europe was in the Middle Ages):
Human beings are members of a whole — In creation of one essence and soul
If one member is afflicted with pain — Other members uneasy will remain If you have no sympathy for human pain — The name of human you cannot retain
The Americans should know Iranians, and vice versa. Americans should know more about Iranian Mystic or Sufi. The majority of Iranians are religious people, but they think like a Sufi, not like a Mullah or Ayatollah The mystics have fought against the orthodox and the fanatics. The mystics observed the religious law, some scorned it outright , proclaiming their inner light a sufficient source of religious guidance. The mystics think the good Sufi must live in peace with the rest of the community. An Iranian mystic in 11th Century AD said to his followers: “ We should feed every one that knocks our doors, and we never ever should not ask them about their religion or race “. The great Persian poet Rumi , was a great mystic or Sufi. In fact, Iranians have a dozens of great and international poets like Hafiz, Rumi, Attar, Khayyam, Abu-Saeed, Baba Taher, etc. that were Sufi. Many of them are greater than Homer, Goute, Shakespeare, Dante, etc. ( If you could read the original Persian poems of the great Persian poets, then most of English or other language poet become weak for you ). In fact Americans show read the great work of the great Iranians and think more about their similarities with Iranians. And Iranians show read the great work of the great Americans and think more about their similarities with Americans.
Unfortunately or fortunately Iran is a religious country like the US, and of course Iran has a considerable minority of atheists, agnostics and anti-religion, exactly like the US. Unfortunately or fortunately the US has the same good guys and bad guys, and the same stupid guys and wise guys like Iran. In fact, the Eagle and the Lion are so alike, and they should know each other better.