Mohammed Ali Arsin, 59, a carpet seller, pictured in his 86,000 square feet home in Lavassan, north of Tehran. His younger son is on the left, his wife in the background, dressed in green. A staunch supporter of the regime, he is quite unfazed by contradictions or dubious historical truths. His opinions are violently anti-American, yet most of his sales are made in his shop in Dallas, Texas. He is also obsessed by the Jews, who he claims are trying to take over the world. “The Jews always settle in places where people are idiots, the better to take advantage of them. There are no Jews in Tabriz (North-East of Iran), because people there are too smart for them.” The truth is, following a heinous campaign orchestrated by the Shiite mullahs at the time, the Jews of Tabriz were all executed in 1830. Mohammed Ali Arsin has quite definitive views on pretty much everything, and on women in particular. The women of Tabriz are the best, he claims, because they are good cooks and take good care of their husbands. “Women are like carpets,” he quips. “You got to choose right.”
Paolo getting ready for a portrait of Mohamed Ali Arsin, in his villa in Lavassan.
The family of the Mohamed Ali Arsi greets us goodbye.