"Welcome America," exclaimed the smiling Iranian official at passport control when I arrived at 2:30 a.m. in Shiraz, Iran. They weren't the first words I expected to hear in a country known for its "Death to America" slogans. But the greeting was only the first of many reminders on my recent trip that Americans' perceptions of Iran too often lag behind reality.
Last month, I traveled to Iran with a group of U.S. businesspeople who were interested in the country's culture and commerce. As part of the self-funded trip, we traveled to the major cities -- Tehran, Isfahan, Shiraz and Qom -- and had broad access to business and religious leaders, government officials, entrepreneurs, academics, university students, artists and ordinary people.… Seguir leyendo »