US Jewish journalist tells of relative freedom on rare trip to Iran

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http://www.timesofisrael.com/us-jewish-journalist-tells-of-relative-freedom-on-unprecedented-trip-to-iran/?utm_source=The+Times+of+Israel+Daily+Edition&utm_campaign=40b69903cc-2015_08_13&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_adb46cec92-40b69903cc-55201169

An American-Jewish journalist just back from an unprecedented week-long reporting trip to Islamist Iran described a relatively free hand in choosing who to interview and what questions to ask, despite being assigned a government minder.

In a longform multimedia piece published Wednesday in the Jewish Daily Forward, the newspaper’s deputy managing editor Larry Cohler-Esses detailed the process of obtaining a visa to the Islamic Republic — with the help of a member of the Iranian Jewish community who wrote a letter on his behalf — and his subsequent conversations in Iran with ayatollahs, government officials and regular Iranians on Jews in general and Israel in particular.

“Though I had to work with a government fixer and translator, I decided which people I wanted to interview and what I would ask them. Far from the stereotype of a fascist Islamic state, I found a dynamic push-and-pull between a theocratic government…

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