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December 11, 2015 1:08 pm

Gay Iranian Poet Fleeing Persecution Says He ‘Fell in Love’ With Israel

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Iranian poet Payam Feili said, "I grew closer and closer to Israel and I fell in love with it." Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Iranian poet Payam Feili said he “grew closer and closer to Israel” and “fell in love with it.” Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Payam Feili fled his native Iran last year because of the persecution he faced over his sexuality. Now, the gay poet has made a years-long dream come true — he is visiting Israel, Iran’s archenemy and a country known for its tolerance toward gays.

But the 30-year-old Feili stands out not only because of his arrival in a country so at odds with his own, but because of his professed adoration for the state some Iranian leaders have dubbed a cancer and have called to be wiped off the map.

Read full story at The Associated Press.

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