“Everybody loves us here,” said Ned Lamont, a digital services entrepreneur and former politician, holding a glass of carrot juice offered by one of his hosts.
“I asked, what about the ‘Death to America’ slogan?” Mr. Lamont said, referring to the phrase that appears on many banners across the country and has long been shouted at public demonstrations. But the cleric responded that the slogan was from a different era. “He told us, ‘This is the new Iran,’ ” Mr. Lamont said. “Such messages are hopeful and different.”