“There’s nothing like an external threat to unite a country.”

There have once again been several stories about Iran in the press this week. Primarily they’re once again focussed on some heinous human rights abuses, though the long running nuclear dispute is once again raising its head.

In the midst of that comes this excellent report in the Guardian. The tag-line sells the piece a little short:

Iran, with its unabashed nuclear ambitions, is top of the US’s next-to-invade list. Is the mood in the country fearful or defiant? James Meek sounds out hardline clerics, Tehran liberals, mosque-goers, workers and the near-destitute – and finds surprising resonances with their superpower enemy.

While too brief to do the situation true justice, Meek’s piece does a great job of exploring some of the internal tensions, the sharply differing perspectives between rich and poor, and the class divisions that played the pivotal role in the recent presidential elections. It’s only a matter of time before the anti-Iran rhetoric ramps up again, and articles such as this that allow us to get a finer-grained understanding of the people in Iran are very welcome.

Also of interest is Juan Cole’s The Iraq war is over, and the winner is… Iran published at Salon.

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