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Books Reveal The Mystery Of Modern Iran

"Three Books. . ." is a series in which we invite writers to recommend three great reads on a single theme.

My Iran Air flight touched down after midnight, and we stepped up a ramp into Imam Khomeini International Airport.

As a foreigner, I didn't know if my bags would be searched or if my three books about the county were allowed. So I'd left them behind — one at home, the other two on the table of a coffee shop in Dubai, my last stop before Tehran.

Now, I could only try to remember them as I waited to have my passport stamped. Maybe that's why I so vividly recalled what all three books reported about free speech or expression.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Steve Inskeep is a host of NPR's Morning Edition, as well as NPR's morning news podcast Up First.