Rick Steves films Iran – subject to the constraints of the Iranian government

by 1389 on July 8, 2013

in 1389 (blog admin), female genital mutilation (FGM), Iran, Islam, Kurdistan, leftist-jihadist convergence, travel

Rick Steves’ Iran, Yesterday and Today – Tehran – Abyaneh سفر به ایران


Uploaded on Feb 2, 2012 by brashrafi1
Rick Steves goes to Iran. A great PBS Documentary on Iran

More information on this show at Rick Steves’ website.

So what do I think of this?

It’s not a bad PR job for the Iranian government or for Rick Steves’ travel business. It shows some interesting historical and archaeological sites. And I don’t mind the fact that it shows the average Iranian as a human being and not a bogeyman – though that doesn’t mean I want their country to nuke up, nor do I want Iranian Muslims to leave Iran en masse and make themselves at home in my back yard.

Rick Steves is obviously unfamiliar with Islamic doctrine; he supposes that Islam fills much the same role in Iranians’ lives as does western Christianity in the US. Then, when he sees violent anti-Israel placards inside a mosque, he doesn’t know what to make of them. He definitely should watch Islam 101: What is Islam?.

Perhaps I’m being a bit unfair, in that Rick Steves is a travel videographer and promoter, not an investigative journalist. He worked under the close monitoring of the Iranian government, but even if that had not been the case, he would have had no motive to expose Iran’s (or any country’s) dark underbelly. He was constrained to stay on good terms with the Iranian theocracy not only to finish the film, but also to keep open the possibility of offering tour packages there later.

It’s no surprise that the video never mentioned Iranian Kurdistan, whose residents harbor separatist sentiments, and where the incidence of female genital mutilation (abbreviated as FGM) is appallingly high. But then, that form of traditional savagery also takes place elsewhere in Iran. Nor were there any sharp questions about Iran’s nuclear saber-rattling or about the current persecution of Christians.

Kool-Aid Man

Even for a tour promoter, I doubt that it was necessary for Steves to have drunk as much of the leftist/pro-jihadi kool-aid as he did. He went overboard in bad mouthing the pro-Western and fairly secular Mohammad Rezā Shāh Pahlavī (whom Jimmy Carter stupidly and cravenly threw under the bus, with catastrophic consequences) – and in excusing the evil deeds of the now-departed Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and his revolutionaries. Finally, his acceptance of the Iranian portrayal of Khomeini as champion of the common people reminded me of something closer to home. That hopey-changey thing never works out for anybody except the few who use it to gain totalitarian power – and their cronies.

Okay, I’ll admit it – I’m still rooting for the Spartans!

Molon Labe inscription on monument at Thermopylae

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 EBL July 8, 2013 at 10:31 pm

Iran is not a causal travel destination. Especially for U.S. citizens, getting a visa there is a pain in the… People going there are 1) expatriate Iranians visiting family, 2) tourists looking for something completely different, or business travelers (again not likely American). None of them are going to be challenging Iranian policy (at least before they travel). Steves show would cater primarily to #2, but possibly #1 and#3 too (he does often give decent travel tips).

So without seeing his actual show on this, I give him some slack.

2 1389 July 8, 2013 at 11:14 pm


The embedded video evidently was recorded from his actual show on this. It’s roughly an hour long, but it’s interesting enough to watch it all the way through. I would agree that Rick Steves does give some decent travel tips and good views of the geographical and human scenery.

That said, I wanted to post my caveats along with the video, so that people won’t be pointing to 1389 Blog and saying that we’re posting pro-Iranian propaganda, or that I’ve somehow gone soft on the mullahs. Not. Gonna. Happen.


3 mehdi mountather July 9, 2013 at 10:23 am

Ramadan et l’application de l’islam des ordres d’ALLAH aux êtres humains donc ce Ramadan 2013 aux non musulmans de convertir a l’islam et aux musulmans d’appliquer le coran a 100% pour éviter leurs extermination par ces punitions d’ALLAH les inondations les séismes les tornades les ouragans tsunami volcan météorite grêlons les foudres feu de forêt les accidents de la route de train naufrage crash d’avion coronavirus H1N1arrêt cardiaque les guerres si la fin du monde pour éviter le cataclysme éternel l’enfer le coran le sauveur pas mehdi mountather la fin de chiisme pour éviter la fin de l’Iran par les séismes merci

4 CzechRebel July 9, 2013 at 1:02 pm

For those of you who do not speak French, mehdi mountarther wants to make sure we all know that Islam is for morons ONLY.

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