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Communications and Marketing

Hope for a strong middle class in Iran

Professor of Sociology Ahmad Sadri spoke to the Chicago Sun-Times about Iranian society in an article about the agreement reached between the two countries on nuclear arms.

The relevant parts of the article are excerpted below. The full article can be found here. Sadri was also interviewed by NPR’s “World View.” The entire interview can be heard here

Ahmad Sadri, a professor of sociology and Islamic World Studies at Lake Forest College, took it a step further.

“I would bet Iran is the most pro-American country in the world,” he said. “There is no grass-root hatred. Things have changed. In 1978 with the revolution there was a lot of animosity, but that is ancient history. The new generation has no memory of that. All that they know is that they have not prospered under this regime.”

“I would say 95 percent of the people I know are happy. The other 5 percent, they are used to being the opposition and having conspiratorial theories and are people who are wedded to being pessimistic, but they don’t amount to very much.”

Sadri, an outspoken detractor of the Iranian government, was arrested while visiting Iran in 2014 on vague charges of propaganda against the regime and collaboration with the enemy but was allowed to leave the country.

He believes the agreement and the economic reforms it will bring will also lead to social change.

“It’s going to strengthen the middle class, which will strengthen the democracy movement,” Sadri said.

“The war hawks in both countries have suffered a defeat. It’s a rare defeat, but it’s a big one,” he added.

“People in the right wing are kind of a state within a state, but a strong middle class leads to democracy … and it is my hope one day I will be able to return.”