Monday, January 19, 2015

Instagram's Rich Kids of Tehran show off their £250,000 cars, £10m homes and opulent lifestyles to attack view that 'many think we ride camels'

   Lazing by pools in blazing sunshine, sipping champagne, showing off their eye-wateringly expensive watches and posing by gold-plated supercars, these young people have no problem flaunting their wealth and lavish lifestyle.

   But this is not life in the luxurious hills of Hollywood – this is what claims to be a rare glimpse into life for the extremely rich young people of Iran.The Instagram account the Rich Kids Of Tehran has gained worldwide attention by revealing what life is really like for some inside the notoriously strict Islamic Republic of Iran. The account describes itself as 'Stuff they don't want you to see about Iran'. Pictures show beautiful young women in revealing bikinis smoking shisha pipes in pools, while others wear sweeping ball gowns as they pose in multi-million pound mansions.Young men pose by private planes and helicopters, wear expensive Rolex watches, show off their gold-plated Blackberries and even watch private cinema screens in their home swimming pools. 

   The account was inspired by the hugely popular Rich Kids Of Instagram, which showcases the life enjoyed by extremely wealthy young people, largely from the United States and Europe. When MailOnline contacted the email address that is linked to the Rich Kids Of Tehran account, we received detailed responses about life inside Iran for the young and super-rich.They said that they could not put MailOnline in contact with the young people featured on the page, saying they must remain anonymous out of 'respect for their personal identity' - so it isn't possible to verify who the people pictured really are - or whether the images have been taken from other websites. They also insisted that any pictures showing the young people drinking or in bikinis were taken outside of the Islamic country.

  The owners of the account told MailOnline that their pictures provoke a range of reactions and added: 'They all are different - some are positive, some say they are shocked as they knew Iran and heard of Iran from the "Homeland" series and the 'Argo' movie! This really made us laugh!'. On the subject of supercars, the account's owner claimed that 'Porsche Panamera GTS costs anywhere from £200,000 to £250,000 in Iran and there over hundreds of them in just Tehran alone. Maseratis which are everywhere in Tehran cost just over £200,000.'

   They also revealed that 'the cars all have been imported and there is 40% import tax based on the actual price of the cars valued in Tehran. For example, if a car costs £200,000 you have to pay 40% import tax before importing the car!'.The account owners also regularly dismiss 'haters' who they say are just jealous of the lifestyle enjoyed by the country's privileged youth.They insist they just want to help share a more positive image of Iran and added: 'Some Iranians and others do criticise us yes and we always welcome criticism and freedom of speech, but most criticism always come from hidden agendas!

   'However, watch out for the joy-stealers: gossip, criticism, complaining, faultfinding, and a negative, judgmental attitude.'They revealed their frustration that the world media views portrays them as 'terrorists' which they say is 'very offending and insulting'. They go on to insist that 'we love Jews, Christian and no matter what race'. Iran's international reputation suffered under former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who led the country from 2005 to 2013. He caused controversy with several inflammatory statements during his years of rule, including when he threatened to 'wipe Israel off the map'.

   The country's current President is Hassan Rouhani, who is seen as a more progressive figure. Last year, he met with British Prime Minister David Cameron to discuss the battle to defeat ISIS militants. It marked the first face-to-face talks for 35 years between the leaders of the two countries which have been at loggerheads over Tehran's nuclear policy. When asked why they wanted to share the alternative view of Iranian society with the world, they replied: 'We are a friendly nation despite what the western medias are trying to label us as "axis of evil" in order to enforce their political agendas!'People see and stereotype nations and its people based on what they hear and see on the media and it's shocking how many small-minded people exist in today's world.

   'We barely hate anyone though wealth and the luxury always brings jealousy to some others so that is a normal thing no matter where you are in world!'.In one post, whoever is running the page hit out at a view that 'many think we ride camels', adding: 'We ride German and Italian wheels and we dress Chanel, Gucci, Louboutin and Tom Ford!' The account caused controversy in October last year when it suddenly stopped posting when it went viral, amid rumours that the government had shut them down.That was denied by the owners and when the account reopened, a post stated: 'We did not have any bad intentions and we are not against anyone. We wanted to show the luxurious side of Tehran to the world. Only thing we did was to post some pictures on Instagram.'We love our country and like any other country we have rich and we have less fortunate people. Some rich people in Iran come from wealthy families who have been rich for generations. Others simply made their wealth by working hard.'   


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