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Rich kids of Tehran

A new Instagram account documenting the lives of Iran's young elite reveals the extreme wealth of the newly rich.

At first glance, browsing through Instagram photos, you’d not think much of it: selfies, house parties, luxury European cars, attractive guys and girls dressed to the nines. With a closer look, you might notice the occasional headscarf and the script on the license plates of cars. At that point you would probably assume you’re looking at a collection of photos belonging to the wealthy in a Gulf country in the Middle East — the United Arab Emirates, perhaps? You’ve got the region right, but ethnically, you’re not even close. Far to the east and across the Persian Gulf it lies: the Islamic Republic of Iran.

You’re browsing the Instagram account documenting the lives of the sons and daughters of an elite class of Iranians, Tehran’s one-percenters. They live in a country that until recently was stereotyped in the media as a place ruled by mullahs and populated by Muslim extremists, where women don black chadors and people chant "Death to America" 365 days a year. The list of stereotypes was never-ending until stories of sex, drugs and alcohol among the country’s elite came to light — some now call it the “Erotic Republic” of Iran.

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