Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Known as Persia until 1935, Iran became an Islamic republic in 1979 after the ruling monarchy was overthrown and the shah was forced into exile. Conservative clerical forces established a theocratic system of government with ultimate political authority nominally vested in a learned religious scholar. Iranian-US relations have been strained since a group of Iranian students seized the US Embassy in Tehran on 4 November 1979 and held it until 20 January 1981. During 1980-88, Iran fought a bloody, indecisive war with Iraq that eventually expanded into the Persian Gulf and led to clashes between US Navy and Iranian military forces between 1987-1988. Iran has been designated a state sponsor of terrorism for its activities in Lebanon and elsewhere in the world and remains subject to US economic sanctions and export controls because of its continued involvement. Following the elections of a reformist president and Majlis in the late 1990s, attempts to foster political reform in response to popular dissatisfaction have floundered as conservative politicians have prevented reform measures from being enacted, increased repressive measures, and consolidated their control over the government.



Azadi Square


Gilan & Mazandaran

Ziarat village, Gorgan

Rice fields

Masule village

Forests of Gilan

Dozehar valley, Tonekadon

Pey Forests




Traditional Air Ventilation


Imam Reza Shrine


Neyshabour Gardens

White poplars near Shahrud


Sistan & Baluchestan


Zabol Sistan


In Iran, there used to be over a thousand caravanserais. About every 40 km along the old caravan routes, you could find these places, where you could eat, sleep and drink and where was a place to put your camel.

Today, there are only 128 left, and most of them are in ruins.

This caravanserai has been restored in its old glory.