There is something of both the absolutely spectacular and positively disgraceful about Tehran. But most writers around the world are inclined to think that their own sprawling metropolis is the capital of every imaginable vice and crime, of impossible love and tenderness and cruelty and malice in measures that seldom exist anywhere else. For me, Tehran's case is no different - except that there really is a difference here. The city may be a hothouse of decadence, a den of inequity, all that. But it still exists under the watchful eye of a very unique entity, the Islamic Republic.