How do Iranians and U.S. Citizens Perceive Each Other: A systematic Review

Ehsan Shahghasemi (1) , D. Ray Heisey (2) , Goudarz Mirani (3)
(1) Department of Communication, University of Teheran - Iran , Iran, Islamic Republic of
(2) School of Communication Studies, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio, USA , United Kingdom
(3) Department of Communication. The University of Tehran, Iran , Iran, Islamic Republic of


Whenever we turn our TV news channel on, we are likely to hear about an Iran-U.S. conflict. Images of the leaders of these two countries intimidating each other can be seen in news channels all over the world. When we are talking about Iran-U.S. international relations, most people think of the political relations which this study takes as intergovernmental rather than international relations. In this study, as we are Iranian and U.S. scholars, we tried a systematic review of studies focusing on perceptions the Iranian and American people have of each other. Our systematic review of studies reveals that, Americans have more negative perceptions of Iranians than the Iranians have of their American counterparts. Moreover, we discussed sources for these perceptions as well.

Full text article

Generated from XML file


Abrahamian, E. (1982). Iran between two revolutions. New Jersey, Princeton University Press. DOI:

Ahmad Zadeh, M., Sabaghi, A., Motamedi, B., Esmaeili, A. (2005). Assessing the intercultural sensitivity of Americans toward the Iranians., Retrieved June 2, 2009.

Ahmad-Zadeh-Namvar, F. (2008). Studying intercultural relations between Iran and the US emphasizing Schema and Intercultural Sensitivity theories. MA thesis under the supervision of Saied Reza Ameli, Department of Communications, University of Tehran.

Amnesty International (2010). Iran: Journalists under siege. Retrieved from in June 9, 2011.

Amuzegar, J. (2006). Nuclear Iran: Prospects and perils. Middle East Policy, 13, 90-112. DOI:

Ansari, H. (2007). West Asia: Failure of procrustean ventures. China Report, 43, 259-262. DOI:

Bloch-Elkon, Y. (2007). Studying the media, public opinion, and foreign policy in international crises: The United States and the Bosnian crisis, 1992-1995. The Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics. 12; PP. 20-51. DOI:

Bruce, N., Pope, D., & Stanistreet, D. (2008). Quantitative methods for health research: A practical interactive guide to epidemiology and statistics. Chichester, England: John Wiley & Sons. DOI:

Calmes, J. (2011). Obama urges Iran’s youth to shed ‘chains.’ Captured June 9, 2011.

Chang, W. (2009). Schema adjustment in cross-cultural encounters: A study of expatriate international aid workers. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 33, 57-68. DOI:

Chaudhuri, S., & Finn, H. (2003). The open image: Poetic realism and the New Iranian Cinema. Screen: the Journal of the Society for Education in Film and Television, 44, 1, 38. DOI:

Dabashi, H. (2001). Close up: Iranian cinema, past, present, and future. London: Verso.

Delgado, F. (2003). The fusing of sport and politics: Media constructions of U.S. versus Iran at France ’98. Journal of Sport & Social Issues, 27, 293-307. DOI:

DeYoung D. and Shear M. D. (2009, September 2006). U.S., allies say Iran has secret nuclear facility. The Washington Post, pp. 1A.

Entman, R. M. (1991). Framing US coverage of international news: Contrasts in narratives of the KAL and Iran Air incidents. Journal of Communication, 41:4, 6–27. DOI:

Entman, R. M. (2004). Projections of power. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Faiz Samadzadeh, M. (1989). The emergence of Iranian Bonapartism: 1905-1921. Studies in History, 5, 211- 269. DOI:

Fayazmanesh, S. (2003). The politics of the U.S. economic sanctions against Iran. Review of Radical Political Economics, 35, 221-240. DOI:

Fenton, T. (2008). The day they buried the Ayatollah. Iranian Studies, 41(2): 241-246. DOI:

Frye, R. N. (2003). Persia in the mind of the West. Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations. 14, PP: 403-406. DOI:

Fuh-sheng, H. J. & Hu, X. (2007), The North Korean nuclear crisis: An introduction. Journal of Asian and African Studies, 42, 227-232. DOI:

Gerami, S. (2003). Mullahs, martyrs, and men: Conceptualizing masculinity in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Men and Masculinities, 5, 257-274. DOI:

Gerges, F. A. (2003). Islam and Muslims in the mind of America. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science; 588; 73-89. DOI:

Goertz, G. & Jones, B. & Diehl, P. F. (2005). Maintenance processes in international rivalries. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 49, 742-769. DOI:

Haddad, S. & Khashan, H. (2002), Islam and terrorism: Lebanese Muslim views on September 11. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 46, 812-828. DOI:

Hart, J. (2005). Perceptions and courses of actions toward Iran. Military Review, September-October issue, 9-21.

Hartley, T. & Russett, B. (1992). Public opinion and the common defense: Who governs military spending in the United States? American Political Science Review. 86:905-15. DOI:

Hartnett, S. J. & Stengrim, L. A. (2004). The whole operation of deception: Reconstructing president Bush’s rhetoric of weapons of mass destruction. Cultural Studies <=> Critical Methodologies, 4, 152-197. DOI:

Heisey, D. R., & Sharifzadeh, M. (2009). Teenage perceptions of Iranians and Americans: Visual rhetoric of people impacted by politics. A paper presented at the annual conference of the Ohio Communication Association in October 2009.

Heisey, D. R. (2008). ‘The Great Satan‘ vs. An Axis of Evil’: Perceptions Iranians and Americans have of each other. Paper presented at Hiram College.

Helfgott, L. (1990). Carpet collecting in Iran, 1873-1883. Muqarnas. 7, 171-82. DOI:

Hill, K. Q. (1998). The policy agendas of the president and the mass public: a research validation and extension. American Journal of Political Science. 42,128-134. DOI:

Holsti, O. R. (1996). Public opinion and American foreign policy. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Hoover, S. M. (2008). Surprises and learnings from the Tehran Conference. Journal of Media and Religion, 7(1), 100-102. DOI:

Horsfield, P. (2008). Contradicting Realities, déjà vu in Tehran. Journal of Media and Religion, 7(1), 103-106. DOI:

Iran-Contra Affair. (2008). Encyclopædia of Britannica. Encyclopædia of Britannica 2007 Ultimate Reference Suite. Chicago: Encyclopædia of Britannica.

Izadi, F. & Saghaye-Biria, H. (2007). A discourse analysis of elite American newspaper editorials: The case of Iran’s nuclear program. Journal of Communication Inquiry, 31, 140-165. DOI:

Johnston Conover, P. & Mingst, K. A. & Sigelman, L. (1980). Mirror images in Americans’ perceptions of nations and leaders during the Iranian hostage crisis. Journal of Peace Research, 4, 325-337. DOI:

Kalb, M. & Saivetz, C. (2007). The Israeli—Hezbollah war of 2006: The media as a weapon in asymmetrical conflict. The Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics, 12, 43-66. DOI:

Keddie, N. R. (1979). Oil, economic policy, and social conflict in Iran. Race Class, 21, 13-29. DOI:

Kellner, D. (2002). "The Axis of Evil," operation infinite war, and Bush's attacks on democracy. Cultural Studies <=> Critical Methodologies, 2, 343-347. DOI:

Keshishian, F. (2003). Acculturation, communication, and the U.S. mass media: The experience of an Iranian immigrant. In Jandt, F. E. (Eds.), Intercultural communication: A global reader (pages 230-243). California: Sage Publications.

Kincheloe, J. L. & Steinberg, S. R. (2006). An ideology of miseducation: Countering the pedagogy of empire. Cultural Studies <=> Critical Methodologies, 6, 33-51. DOI:

Kincheloe, J. L. (2002). 9-11, Iran, and Americans' knowledge of the U.S. role in the world. Cultural Studies <=> Critical Methodologies, 2, 201-204. DOI:

Los Angeles Times, (2009). Oct. 09.

Malici, A. (2005). Discord and collaboration between allies: Managing external threats and internal cohesion in Franco-British relations during the 9/11 era. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 49, 90-119. DOI:

Mattelart, A. (2002). An archaeology of the global era: Constructing a belief, Media, Culture & Society, 24, 591-612. DOI:

McGillivray, F. & Smith, A. (2005). The impact of leadership turnover and domestic institutions on international cooperation. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 49, 639-660. DOI:

McLaren, P. & Jaramillo, N. E. (2004). A moveable fascism: Fear and loathing in the empire of sand. Cultural Studies<=>Critical Methodologies, 4, 223-236. DOI:

McLaren, P. (2003). The dialectics of terrorism: A Marxist response to September 11 (Part two: Unveiling the past, evading the present). Cultural Studies<=>Critical Methodologies, 3, 103-132. DOI:

Miller, R. W. (2007). Unlearning American patriotism. Theory and Research in Education, 5, 7-21. DOI:

Mirani, G. & Soofi, M. R. & Ahmad-Zadeh-Namvar, F. & Haghgoei A. (2006). The shadow of schema over intercultural communications: A research on Iran-USA case. Retrieved June 2, 2009.

Mousseau, M. (2005). Book review: Falling terrorism and rising conflicts: The afghan contribution to polarization and confrontation in west and South Asia. Comparative Political Studies, 38, 327-329. DOI:

Namazi Khah, S. (2007) The Power of blog. Shahrvand-e-Emruz, Year 2, No2, 41-44.

New York Times, (2009). Oct. 09.

Nooshin, L. (2008). The language of rock; Iranian youth, popular music, and national identity. In Media, Culture and Society in Iran edited by Semati M. Simultaneously published in the USA and Canada. Routledge. PP. 69-94.

Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (2008). Public opinion survey of American Perceptions of Iranian Americans. Captured June 8, 2011.

Ramsay, K. W. (2004). Politics at the water’s edge: Crisis bargaining and electoral competition. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 48, 459-486. DOI:

Ravlo, H. & Gleditsch, N. P. & Dorussen, H. (2003). Colonial War and the Democratic Peace. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 47, 520-548. DOI:

Robinson P. (2002) Global television and conflict resolution: Defining the limits of the CNN effect. In Media and Conflict, ed. E. Gilboa. PP. 175-92. New York: Transnational Publishers. DOI:

Sazegara, M. (2005) Iran’s road to democracy. published by open Democracy Ltd.

Scheufele, D. A. & Kim, E. & Brossard, D. (2007). My friend's enemy: How split-screen debate coverage influences evaluation of presidential debates. Communication Research, 34, 3-24. DOI:

Semati, M. (2008) Media, culture and society in Iran. Simultaneously published in the USA and Canada. Routledge. DOI:

Seongwhun, C. (2007). North Korea and the ROK U.S. security alliance. Armed Forces & Society, 34, 5-28. DOI:

Seyed-Emami, K. (2008). Youth, politics, and media habits in Iran. In Media, Culture and Society in Iran edited by Semati M. Simultaneously published in the USA and Canada. Routledge. PP. 57-68.

Shaghasemi, E. & Heisey D. R. (2009). The cross-cultural schemata of Iranian-American people toward each other: A qualitative approach. Intercultural Communication Studies, XVIII (1), 143-160.

Shaghasemi, E. (2009, November 22). The image of the other: Cross cultural schemata Iranian bloggers have of American people. Message posted to

Shakoori, A. (2006), Differentiation and social identity based on consumption: the case study of Tehran's youth. Global Media Journal, Persian Edition, NO 2.

Simbar, R. (2006). Iran and the US: engagement or confrontation, Journal of International and Area Studies, 13: 1, 73-87.

Siqueira, K. & Sandler, T. (2006). Terrorists versus the government: Strategic interaction, support, and sponsorship. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 50, 878-898. DOI:

Sobel, R. (2001). The impact of public opinion of U.S. foreign policy since Vietnam. New York: Oxford University Press.

Sørli, M. E. & Petter Gleditsch, N. & Strand, H. (2005). Why is there so much conflict in the Middle East? Journal of Conflict Resolution, 49, 141-165. DOI:

Soroka S. N. (2003) Media, public opinion, and foreign policy. The Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics. 8; 27-48. DOI:

Tadayon, K. M. (1982). The changing image of Iran in the United States: Open-ended format surveys before and after the hostage crisis. International Communication Gazette, 30, 89-95. DOI:

Tafazzoli, B. (2009). The representation of news on ethnic and religious terrorism in VOA and BBC: the case of Jond-O-Lah and Rigi. (MA dissertation, University of Tehran, 2009).

Terror Free Tomorrow, (2007). Polling Iranian Public Opinion: An Unprecedented Nationwide Survey of Iran. Washington.

Victoroff, J. (2005). The mind of the terrorist: A review and critique of psychological approaches. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 49, 3-42. DOI:

Wlezien C. (1996) Dynamics of representation: The case of U.S. spending on defense. British Journal of Political Science 26: 81–103. DOI:

World Public Opinion Organization. (2007). Public opinion in Iran and America on key international issues. Retrieved June 2, 2009.

Yazdani, E. & Hussain, R. (2006). United States' policy towards Iran after the Islamic revolution: An Iranian perspective. International Studies, 43, 267-289. DOI:


Ehsan Shahghasemi (Primary Contact)
D. Ray Heisey
Goudarz Mirani
Author Biographies

Ehsan Shahghasemi, Department of Communication, University of Teheran - Iran

Ehsan Shahghasemi is PHD candidate in Communication at the University of Tehran and member of International Academy of Intercultural Research. His areas of Interest include intercultural communication, cyber studies, Iranian studies, minority studies, visual culture and Journalism. He also has translated several books on communication to Persian.

D. Ray Heisey, School of Communication Studies, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio, USA

D. Ray Heisey is Professor and Director Emeritus, School of Communication Studies, Kent State University, Kent, OH 44242. B.A., Greenville, College, M.A., Ohio State University, Ph.D., Northwestern University. Professor at Kent State University from 1966-1996 teaching intercultural communication and history and criticism of public address. Professor and Director Emeritus

Goudarz Mirani, Department of Communication. The University of Tehran, Iran

Goudarz Mirani is MA graduate in communication from the University of Tehran.

Shahghasemi, E., Heisey, D. R., & Mirani, G. (2011). How do Iranians and U.S. Citizens Perceive Each Other: A systematic Review. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 11(3), 1–13.

Article Details

Smart Citations via scite_
  • Abstract 139
  • Download PDF 154