On April 4th, CCJ was happy to see a group of travelers land in Iran on our Splendors of the Persian Empire journey. Our Ambassador-at-Large, former US diplomat Wilford Welch sent us an update.
I suspect you are curious about what we have been experiencing here in Iran. And, while we have only been in the country four days of the fifteen we will be here, the following are some first impressions.
The G5+1 agreement with Iran was announced a few hours before our arrival with the result that we are here at a truly historic moment, not dissimilar to our having left Cuba on a trip we had called “Cuba – Past, Present and Future” shortly before the historic shift in US-Cuban relations as well. All of the Iranians we have spoken with know of the tentative agreement and are pleased with what they have been told. The Iranian Supreme Leader and the military, who are the ones who were most likely to try and skittle the deal have now indicated support. The average citizens we have spoken with assume that the sanctions will soon be lifted and their lives improved, but they have much less information about what is going on than we have read on the Internet from Western media.
Hadi, our Iranian guide, is a very experienced, delightful fellow whom we are all pleased with, the hotels are modern and the is food delicious middle eastern fare. The Iranian people we have met on the street or elsewhere have all been very friendly and hospitable and we are all feeling very safe.
In terms of daily life, we have seen no poverty, fairly vibrant commercial activity and clean streets along with people who are delighted to find that we are from The US. No hostility whatsoever.
In any case, this is a true Cross Cultural Journeys “learning journey” with much more to come.
April 6, 2015