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Propaganda
Tehran
The Iranian regime's arch-nemesis is the US Government, aka. the "Great Satan" and "Enemy of Islam". Don't be surprised to hear Condie Rice referred to on the evening news as the "Queen of War and Evil".
Iran: Anti-US propaganda in Tehran



Bazaar
Shiraz
The bazaars of Iran are wonderful places to wander and get lost both in time and space. Unlike the streamlined shoppings centers of the West shopping in the bazaars is a highly personal experience. Don't miss it!
Iran: Bazaar in Shiraz

Antique View
Yazd
The Masjid-e Jame (meaning Friday Mosque) in Yazd has the highest minarets of all the mosques in Iran. It dates back to the 11th century, and has magnificent tile-work.
Iran: Mosques dotting the landscape in Yazd

Travel
Best Iran Travel
Extensive site
Iran Cultural Heritage Organization
Official site
Iran Tourism and Touring Organization
Official site

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Iran: Axes, Schmaxes

Iran has gotten a bad reputation over last 25 years, mainly due to its conservative ruling clerics. First-time visitors to Iran are in for a big surprise! The bruteness of the regime is in stark contrast to its friendly population. Persian hospitality is second to none. Other reasons to visit Iran are its amazing historical monuments, and its impressive nature. Iran ranges from the historical cities of the dry south, to the snowcapped Alborz Mountains (known for skiing) and the Mediterranean-like Caspian region of the north. Iran has it all!
Iran: Afif Abad Gardens in Shiraz

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Iran: Imam Mosque in Isfahan Isfahan: Cultural Highlight

The former capital of Isfahan tops the list of many visitors to Iran. The major attraction is the magnificent (Islamic) architecture, mainly exhibited through the Imam Square (also known as Naqsh-e Jahan Square by the locals). At 500 by 160 meters the square is one of the world's biggest, and it is surrounded by important historical buildings. On the east and west side you find the Sheikh Lotf Allah Mosque and Ali Qapu, respectively. But the real gem is on the south side, the grand Imam Mosque. It is the masterpiece of Islamic architecture in Iran.

Iran: Supreme Duo

The power vacuum left behind when the ruler Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi fled the country in 1979 paved the way for Ayatollah Khomeini's Islamic Revolution. Khomeini made himself the Supreme Leader, and his power was further consolidated by the Iran-Iraq (1980-88) war, started by Iraq. After his death the senior clerics chose the current Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Besides being the Supreme Leader he also belongs to the conservative faction of the Iranian leadership, trying to head the country firmly back to the dark ages.
Iran: The country's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei

Iran: Zoroastrian temple of Atashkade in Yazd Religion: Also sprach Zarathushtra

Zoroastrianism, one of the first monotheistic religions in the world, was founded in Iran. Its founder, Zarathushtra (Zartosht in Persian), is surrounded by myths and historical uncertainty. The Zoroastrians are perhaps best known in modern days for their Towers of Silence, where they leave their dead for vultures (the belief is that the body is an empty shell the soul leaves four days after death). Fire is also an integral part of the religion, and in the Zoroastrian temple of Atashkade in Yazd there is a fire that has been burning continuously since year 470!

Nightlife: Or not?

With the advent of the Islamic Revolution the last bars in Iran closed down for good in 1979. The Office of Culture and Islamic Guidance makes sure nobody is enjoying themselves too much at night. This means that the fun-hungry foreigner visiting Iran is left with few alternatives after sunset. After the shops close the cities also close down, and an un-translated Persian movie or a good nights sleep in your hotel-room is what you're left with.
Iran: Cinema on Karim Khan-é Zand Avenue in Shiraz

Iran: Alborz Mountains in the north of the country Nature: Alborz Mountains

The Alborz Mountains stretch all the way from the border with Armenia in the north-west to the borders with Afghanistan and Turkmenistan in the east. It also contains Iran's tallest mountain, Mount Damavand (visible from Tehran), weighing in at 5604 meters. Not far from the peak is the Middle East's largest ski slope Dizin, not far from Tehran. It's the perfect destination for skiers that are looking for a resort a littlebit out of the usual.



Mosque
Yazd
Yazd is one of the oldest surviving cities in the world, and a center for Zoroastrian culture. It's old town hasn't changed for hundreds of years, and is a must-see.
Iran: Yazd Amir Chaghmagh Mosque

Facts
Jomhūrī-ye Eslāmī-ye Īrān

Capital
Tehran
Largest city
Tehran
Population
68,688,000 (2006)
Area
1,648,000 km²
Official language(s)
Persian
Government
Islamic Republic

History
Iran
522-486 BC: Ruled by King Darius - Construction of Persepolis started.
333 BC: Conquered by Alexander the Great.
224–651: During Sassanian Empire, territory encompasses today's Iran, Iraq, Armenia, Afghanistan, eastern parts of Turkey, and parts of Syria, Pakistan, Caucasia, Central Asia and Arabia.
1501-1736: Shi'a Islam established as official religion under the Safavid Dynasty.
1979: Shah overthrown, Ayatollah Khomeini establishes Islamic Republic.

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