Why many Iranians are feeling the Bern

By Masoud Lavasani, for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iran Business News.

Foad Shams is an Iranian journalist who supports US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and has written about him in the Iranian press. When asked what is it about the Democratic hopeful that interests him, Shams told Al-Monitor, “The image of an alternative America is the most attractive feature of the Sanders campaign. Sanders is an alternative voice. In fact, he has managed to change the general narrative about the United States. We Iranians have two different — but equally wrong — images in our heads regarding the United States.”

Shams explained, “On the one hand, we have the image that is propagated by Iranian state television and other official media outlets inside Iran that depicts the United States as the absolute evil. The other image is the one propagated by Hollywood and some foreign media outlets that present America as heaven on earth and a place where everyone is happy.” He added, “However, the image that Sanders presents of the United States — its people and their demands — is real.”

Al-Monitor spoke about the upcoming US presidential election with an adviser to President Hassan Rouhani. He said on condition of anonymity, “[Hillary] Clinton is the candidate who has a real chance of getting elected. Sanders is unlikely to succeed. However, we have an old saying in Iran which goes, ‘If it does turn into doogh [an Iranian yogurt drink], it will be great!’” referring to an impossible scenario that can only be realized in a dream.

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