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.”
#سلفی با #اوباما pic.twitter.com/Bgftnt2KYE
— Pedraam (@pedi) April 2, 2015
#selfie Me & My Wife & @BarackObama Obama's speech live broadcast, IR national news network pic.twitter.com/VhRJfwPRjx
— Milad Fadai Asl (@miladfadai) April 2, 2015
This photograph is captioned “Obama himself wants to take a selfie with me”:
خود اوباما هم دوس دارِ با من سلفی بگیره..اوباما.او با ماست..@BahmanKalbasi @farentaghizadeh @VOAIran pic.twitter.com/36CyOfmVKm
— hossein (@hossein13722) April 2, 2015
The same user also uploaded a photograph kissing the broadcasted face of Secretary of State John Kerry.
Hosein from Iran is really happy today! #IranTalksLausanne @JohnKerry pic.twitter.com/Y6yuEb4Kzc
— faren (@farentaghizadeh) April 2, 2015
Another man, unable to restrain himself, wound up pinching the president’s cheek.
Friend of mine in #Iran pinching #Obama's cheek out of sheer joy #IranTalks pic.twitter.com/M68J6yKgQt
— Holly Dagres (@hdagres) April 2, 2015
Others, not quick enough to get between their smartphones and their televisions, simply photographed the broadcast:
_______________________________________________________ پخش #زنده سخنرانی #رییس_جمهور #آمریکا پس از #بیانیه مطبوعاتی #ظریف و مسول سیاست خارجی اتحادیه #اروپا #اوباما تمام سخنرانی خود را معطوف کرده است به راستی آزمایی و اطمینان از صلح آمیز بودن فعالیت های #هسته_ای #ایران تا ایران فقط #انرژی_هسته_ای را برای مصارف صلح آمیز داشته باشد. اما بازهم میگوییم : ظریف جان، #تاریخ_ايران_به_احترام_تو_خواهد_ايستاد و البته به قول #رضویان عزیز: انرژی هسته ای #واس_ماس _______________________________________________________
The BBC’s Persian correspondent in New York admitted that he was “still in disbelief”:
I am still in disbelief @Saeedeh_Hashemi: Historic: Iran State TV showed #Obama’s speech Live pic.twitter.com/zmfIy4znkw #IranDeal #IranTalks
— Bahman Kalbasi (@BahmanKalbasi) April 2, 2015
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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