One spring morning, on a return visit to Iran in 2015, I was sitting in a taxi stuck in traffic in Tehran’s Towhid Square and scanning the image-plastered dashboard to kill time. I took in the familiar snapshots: Los Angeles singers like Dariush and Ebi, scantily clad Bollywood actresses, framed verses from Qur’an swinging underneath the rear mirror, and an amulet dangling from its little frame. But amid this collage, there was also a photo of someone I had never seen before: a severe but distinguished-looking uniformed man. I pointed to the picture, and spoke.
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