At Tehran University our delegation was able to meet with about two dozen students and faculty members at the Institute for European and North American Studies. During our discussions we were asked several times to bring back "messages to the American people." This post is the first of several that offer those messages, pretty much verbatim:
- Attempts to intimidate us will invariably produce resistance. We experience arrogance as a cultural remnant of an obsolete Western imperialism. It offends our sense of national pride. We will never back down when we are being treated that way.
- Fair treatment will enable Iran to be a rational player and actor in world politics.
Don't forget that Iranians are proud of our rich cultural heritage. Few Americans know anything about the richness of Persian culture. Many of us think that we gave Islam as much as Islam gave Iran. When I look around me I see that. I certainly don't see an "axis of evil." And I won't respond if I'm not called by my right name."