The taxi drove past a mural of the American flag. There were skulls where the stars should have been and the words Death to America! scrawled across the stripes. It was the only such sign I’d seen in Iran, but at ten stories tall, it made a strong impression. Just then the taxi driver asked me, “Madam, you German?” “No,” I replied hesitantly. “U.S.A.”
“Amrika? Amrika! We love Amrika!” he responded. Really? I thought to myself. The mural and the words of your president could have fooled me. But from Tehran to Shiraz to Isfahan the word I heard on the Iranian street was—we love America.