It all started with a photo of the Nasir al-Mulk Mosque, situated in the Iranian city of Shiraz, on Twitter which was re-tweeted several times last week.
It was, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful images to come out of Iran lately. To share more striking photos of landmark sites within the Islamic state, many used the same hashtag, #MustSeeIran, subsequently making it a trend on the micro-blogging website.
However, soon enough, all of it was eclipsed by posts that were more focused towards what Iran is usually known for – human rights abuses.
Although many human rights campaigners hoped for better governance under relatively moderate President Hassan Rouhani, but not much has changed since his landslide election win in June last year.
Rouhani, before and after his victory in elections this year, stated on many occasions that he acknowledged the rights and freedom of Iranians had been ignored in the past and wanted a better progressive environment in the country.
However, multiple human rights reports by international organization maintain that different political and social abuses in the state are still widespread.
#MustSeeIran turned Twitter into a combat zone between people who wanted to show how Iran had the potential to become the next tourist hotspot and human rights advocates who were bent on bringing up the dark side of the country’s social and political norms.
Take a look: