land of beauty, with 2,500 years history'
Travelling to the borders of Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan
is strongly advised against. Western visitors
have been the target of kidnaps by armed gangs in south east Iran.
To travel overland to Pakistan is very unwise. Since 2002, there
have been numerous violent attacks on, and violent demonstrations
outside, British Embassy compounds in Tehran, and the possibility
of further incidents cannot be dismissed. Demonstrations and similar
large gatherings in public places should be particularly avoided.
Situated in the Middle East,
Iran is bounded by Turkmenistan and the Caspian Sea, the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan,
Pakistan, the Gulf of Oman, Iraq and Turkey. Iran's middle
and eastern region is mainly barren desert with
mountainous areas in the west. Tehran, the capital,
is fundamentally a modern city, but the best of the old has been
The Shahid Motahari Mosque
has 8 minarets, from which the city can be viewed, and the Bazaar
is 1 of the world's largest. More traditional towns, such as Rey,
Varamin, Qazvin and Shemshak are easily accessible by car from Tehran.
Tabriz Town is famous for its renovated blue
mosque constructed in 1465. The covered Qaisariyeh Bazaar dates back to
the 15th century. The Golden Triangle is the name commonly given
to the region surrounded by the old cities of Hamadan, Kermanshahan
and Khorrambabad. For many centuries the Silk Road
passed through the stunning rolling countryside of the region. Local
dishes include morgh polo (chicken and pilau rice), and chelo khoresh
(rice topped with vegetables and meat in a nut sauce).