Brandon Stanton, the photographer behind the wildly popular "Humans of New York" Web site and social media pages, is currently in Iran, a country in the crosshairs of many angry politicians in Washington.

Stanton has earned global fame for his touching, empathetic portraits of ordinary people, often accompanied with moving first-person stories. His trip to Iran is his second (he went earlier in 2012). True to form, his posts so far convey very personal and familiar stories of regular folks, their daily lives, disappointments and dreams.

Prior to his Iran trip, Stanton was in Pakistan, where the photographer, a former bond trader, helped to raise some $2 million for a local Pakistani charity.

As a blog post from his 2012 Iran visit attests, Stanton is aware of the repressive politics of the Iranian regime and is "by no means starry-eyed" about the Islamic Republic. But he believes strongly in the connections made through travel and dialogue.

Iran’s government is not its people. You can greatly enjoy a country, while at the same time disagreeing with its government. Travel is not advocacy of ideology or policy. Travel is travel, and it’s the single greatest contributor to understanding between cultures.

See more of his portraits and vignettes from Iran here.

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