How the Great Satan Became Just Great

Iranians want freedom, but until then American stuff is the next best thing

One of the hottest shops in Tehran these days sits on a treelined street in the fashionable district of Elahieh. Its name is too risque, by local standards, to be displayed on the storefront. Instead, gilt letters spell it out on a dusky rose wall inside: Victoria's Secret. Iranian women flock here to rapturously fawn over delicate silk negligees, lace underwear and other fripperies that are available nowhere else in the Islamic Republic. While the franchise is fake, the goods are authentic. So the shop offers Iranian women a twofold illicitness: sexy lingerie that flagrantly violates Islamic notions of modesty, plus...

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