Among the historical precedents set by Thursday’s announcement of a tentative basis for a nuclear deal with Iran, government-run television stations in the country broadcast President Barack Obama’s address from the White House in full.
The Islamic Republic of Iran News Network, whose political and international coverage is strictly controlled by government authorities, took the unusual step of showing Obama’s speech live and uncensored. In his speech, Obama asserted that the basis for agreement was “not based on trust,” but rather on “unprecedented verification” of Iranian nuclear facilities by outside inspectors. (RELATED: Negotiators Announce Plan For 10-Year Iranian Nuclear Restrictions)
In response to seeing the leader of Iran’s greatest geopolitical foes on state television, young internet-savvy Iranians responded in the only way they knew: by taking “selfies with Obama.”
This photograph is captioned “Obama himself wants to take a selfie with me":
The same user also uploaded a photograph kissing the broadcasted face of Secretary of State John Kerry.
Another man, unable to restrain himself, wound up pinching the president’s cheek.
Others, not quick enough to get between their smartphones and their televisions, simply photographed the broadcast:
The BBC’s Persian correspondent in New York admitted that he was “still in disbelief”:
And one user, who just days before had photographed himself flipping the bird at an official billboard for the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, caught the selfie craze and commemorated the moment by grabbing a picture with foreign minister Javad Zarif.
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