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The Other Iran ...
weeklystandard.com 13/01/2018 Culture

Keywords:#Ali_Khamenei, #Ayatollah, #Ayatollah_Ali_Khamenei, #CIA, #Hassan_Rouhani, #Hezbollah, #Instagram, #Internet, #Iran, #Iranian, #Khamenei, #Los_Angeles, #Los_Angeles_Times, #Middle_East, #News, #Obama, #Obama_administration, #President, #Rouhani, #Tehran, #Times, #United_States, #Weeklystandard.com, #Western, #Yahoo

Jan 12, 2018 | By THE SCRAPBOOK
You've probably read recently about the wave of unrest in Iran that has led to at least 24 deaths and 8,000 arrests. Many of the protesters have chanted for the “death” of Iran’s leaders, President Hassan Rouhani and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
But not everybody inside Iran is dissatisfied. Some are quite comfortable under the theocratic regime—and routinely document their exploits on the Internet. Western media have discovered an Instagram account called @TheRichKidsof-Tehran. The photos it posts (see left) look a lot like what you’d see from youngsters in the United States, with an occasional headscarf or Iranian flag thrown in.
There are subjects in sunglasses making pouty faces at mirrors while holding iPhones, young women in bikinis unwinding at pool parties and on luxury yachts, and plenty of Western-style conspicuous consumption. The account is where “attractive 20-somethings flaunt $1,000 Hermès sandals and frolic poolside at lavish mansions in a capital where, perhaps in another part of town, the desperate hawk their own kidneys to feed their families,” the Los Angeles Times reported.
It seems that the Iranian nuclear deal that unfroze at least $100 billion in assets—including $400 million in cash that the Obama administration dropped off in an unmarked cargo plane—didn’t all go toward bankrolling Hezbollah, destabilizing the Middle East, and developing nuclear weapons. Reviewing the Instagram photos, Yahoo! News says “that money seems to have found its way into the pockets of the wealthy elite rather than for the benefit of a society in dire need of jobs, credit, and infrastructure.”
Iranian police routinely crack down on ordinary citizens for failing to wear proper hijabs and for drinking alcohol. But the regime also limits Internet access, so few Iranians are likely to be among the 133,000 followers of @TheRichKidsofTehran and can’t see the wealthy so brazenly flouting the rules (assuming the whole thing isn’t some sort of CIA disinformation campaign).
The account reveals that regardless of religion, geography, and ethnicity, humans share a thirst for liberty—including the liberty to be Instagram narcissists.

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