These fan mementos aren't of the zany variety displayed so often at the sporting event. Rather, they represent competing political persuasions regarding the Persian motherland and for what they want Iran's jerseys to signify.
A revival of Iranian nationalism is generating confrontation not just between Iran's two traditions of state and faith, but between those within the ruling class who champion secularism versus those who still espouse theocracy
In today's America, that's a conversation-stopper. The reality is more prosaic -- sobering realities shape Iranian politics. Nonetheless, Iran may have more democratic potential than any other society in the Muslim world.