In which Islamic theocracy were there immediate and repeated public outpourings of sympathy for Americans following the 9/11 attacks in 2001? Few Americans know that hundreds of Iranians gathered publicly to pay their respects and to show their solidarity with the American people, first on 13 September, then in two other candlelight vigils. The crowds chanted "Death to terrorism!" "Death to Bin Laden!" and, "America: condolences, condolences!" Three days after the attacks, a moment of silence for the American tragedy was held before the start of the World cup-qualifying soccer game, the same day the Tehran Friday prayer leader said the terrorist attacks against America were "heart-rending...Everyone condemns, denounces, and is saddened...by it." While note of the candlelight vigils appeared in some Western papers, Iranian sympathy for the U.S. terrorist tragedy is largely unknown here. Because of widespread predetermined and unchallenged assumptions about Iran, these sorts of positive public attitudes nearly inconceivable to many Americans. American misperception and a lack of clear thinking about Iran significantly affect policy making and unnecessarily close off policy options. Currently, the United States is grappling with how to respond to suspected Iranian development of a nuclear weapons capability while Iran's 2005 presidential elections just constituted a conservative monopoly over domestic political institutions. Significant features of Iranian demographics present both an opportunity for a major political breakthrough as well as the conditions for potential serious long-term hostilities with the United States. Given the understanding of facts on the ground in Iran and the context of political factors affecting Iranian choices, it is possible to consider a set of three broad courses of action available to the United States in dealing with Iran. these are preemptive military options, patient noninterference, and rapprochement through trade.