No hard evidence exists that a friendlier American policy has changed Arab views of the United States for the better.
On the Arab Street
How Princeton Abandoned a Graduate Student Held Hostage by Iran
In 2016, Xiyue Wang, an American citizen and a PhD candidate at Princeton University, traveled to Tehran to improve his Persian, and to conduct archival research on the governance of border provinces in the 19th and early 20th centuries. A few months later he was arrested and sent to the Evin prison, where he was held for 40 months, most of which he spent in solitary confinement. He emerged thoroughly disabused of his former faith in the possibility of U.S conciliation with the Islam Republic. He had a similar change in attitude toward his university. Peter Theroux writes: