Every day it seems like there’s another negative news article about the dreadful relations between the United States and Iran. It might seem odd, then, to consider the fact that Iranian and American people actually have a lot in common. It’s true! In spite of the posture of American-Iranian relations, the citizens themselves are quite similar. Here are a few of the traits they share.
Nationalism may be considered an unfortunate trait in a lot of circles, but whether right or wrong, Iranians and Americans are very nationalistic people. Both peoples are very diverse populations, but they each identify with their home country in ways that are far stronger than most people from other countries. While innately peaceful, if either country feels threatened, their citizens are quick to come to their country’s defense. This is a positive in a lot of ways, but is also one of the reasons the US and Iran don’t get along.
How could the theocratic Iran and the secular United States share a passion for religion? The fact is, the US is the most religious of all the major western powers. The largely Christian population of the US hold their faith dearly, and have no reservations about displaying it proudly in the public square. While their two religions may seem at odds, the fact is the importance they place on faith sets them apart from most other countries.
Everyone knows about “American Exceptionalism”. The reality is Iranians think they’re just as special. With a history that goes back to the great Persian Empire, the Iranian people are every bit as proud of their history as Americans. So, when you think about it, perhaps American Exceptionalism isn’t as exceptional as some people think it is.
4. Resisting Tyranny
The United States is identified as a country that was born resisting the tyranny of the British Empire. Not everyone realizes it, but Iran has a very similar (though more recent) history. When they overthrew the Shah to create their own country, Iranians resisted tyranny every bit as much as Americans did.
5. The Primacy of the Individual
Contrary to popular assumptions, Iranians do not all walk in lock-step with one another. On the contrary, the Iranian people believe each person is responsible for making the most of the opportunities they’re given. Perhaps this is why Iranians assimilate so easily when they move to the US.
American-Iranian relations rely on everyone recognizing the fact that there is more uniting them than separating them.