On the surface, Iran is beautiful and wonderful. After some discussions with Iranians, you however better understand the political and economical situation. The economy is however in a bad situation, on the down side, everybody told me “it is going worse”. And more important, Iran is still a dictatorship, ruled by the supreme Leader of the council (see next post).
The liberties are strongly limited: speaking with tourists (and thus Couchsurfing), alcohol, having satellite reception at home, using blocked websites on internet, etc are forbidden and can lead to troubles with the police. However, as long as the system is not criticized, they are quite minor crimes and the police has other stuff to do (and don’t want to arrest half of the population). Iranian might just have to pay some fines if they got arrested for such crimes. It depends also in which city: for instance, Yazd and Esfahan in a lower degree are more religious, conservative and strict than Shiraz or Tehran.