Iran-US tensions: 5 ways Americans and Iranians are actually similar

Despite escalating US-Iran tensions, remarkable similarities between their peoples have prompted some to suggest that the US and Iran could one day be powerful ‘natural’ allies.

3. National pride

In their discourse, both the US and Iran swear by peace, even cherish it as a sacred motivator. Yet both are unafraid of war or using violence if they feel threatened or feel their survival is at stake.

The duel is between two peoples who hold national pride and their own brand of historical entitlement above all else. Both Americans and Iranians inherently understand this – about themselves. But to appreciate the often sanctimonious and uncompromising reactions of the other, they should each hold up a mirror, a conservative Iranian official once told the Monitor.

Americans. Iranians. "They look at the world in just two colors: black and white," said Javad Vaeidi. "In their [American] mind they think they have a duty from God, and are on a mission. It is very dangerous. We have the same group, with the same mind-set. Both people think they are the emperor of the world."

Mr. Vaeidi explained: "Americans see a frontier, they believe it is 'your destiny,' that the world is yours. The same mind and mentality is in Iran... It is drawn from the Quran. The Lord God will not change the destiny of the people unless they want it."

This list is adapted from Scott Peterson's book, "Let the Swords Encircle Me: Iran – A Journey Behind the Headlines." Follow Scott on Twitter.

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