July 27th, 2016
A visitor from Minneapolis finds the Iranians — including members of a remnant Jewish community — to be friendly and hospitable
By MORDECAI SPECKTOR
For many, or most, Jews, arriving in an airliner at Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport would be something akin to a waking nightmare.
Not so for Jeremy Iggers, an accomplished journalist from Minneapolis, who seeks out adventurous travel destinations. In fact, prior to his weeklong journey to the Islamic Republic of Iran, in late June and early July, Iggers had visited the country twice before, in 1971 and 2001.
“This was just something that had been on my bucket list for a very long time,” said Iggers, regarding his recent trip to Iran. “When I was there in 2001, I found it to be just a fascinating place and I had always wanted to go back.”
During an interview at Gigi’s Café in south Minneapolis, Iggers explained that he traveled in Iran, in 2001, for a post-9/11 series on Muslim countries for the Star Tribune, where he worked from 1984 to 2007. He also reported from Turkey, Syria and Azerbaijan for the series, which included photos by Jeff Wheeler.
His earlier visit to Iran, during the reign of the Shah, came after a sophomore year overseas semester, in Normandy, France. Iggers joined a group traveling in a VW bus from France to Nepal. The 1971 road trip traversed Iran; Iggers wasn’t enjoying his fellow travellers and got out at the border with India.