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For the past year Iran has made a considerable effort to open its borders to visitors. “Opening the country to tourists is part of [Iranian President] Mr. Rouhani’s carefully planned outreach to the West, aimed at cementing ties after the nuclear deal.” In recent years, Iran has held the reputation of a dangerous country because of events like the Iranian Revolution of 1979, crackdown on protests in 2009, and the rumors regarding nuclear weapons. This recent tourism outreach has caused this violent reputation to begin to shift in a positive direction.

I think this recent push for tourism is incredible PR move. Many people fear the Middle East because it is unknown. More tourism will increase awareness about what the Middle East is really like. After living in the Middle East for a semester my opinion of this supposedly “dangerous and scary” place changed drastically. Hopefully that will continue to happen for people who choose to visit Iran.

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