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Iran Travel Guide, Travel Tips To Iran Tours

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Iran Travel Guide, Travel Tips To Iran Tours

Iran Travel Guide, Travel Tips To Iran Tours


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Home Page > Travel > Travel Tips > Iran Travel Guide, Travel Tips To Iran Tours

Iran Travel Guide, Travel Tips To Iran Tours

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Posted: Feb 02, 2010 |Comments: 0
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Iran travel tips

Name of Iran

Known as Persia until 1935, Iran became an Islamic republic in 1979 after the ruling Shah was forced into exile. Conservative clerical forces subsequently crushed Americanizing, yet also liberal/left-wing, influences. Iranian student protesters seized the US Embassy in Tehran on 4 November 1979 and held it until 20 January 1981. From 1980 to 1988, Iran fought a bloody, indecisive war with Iraq over disputed territory. Key current issues affecting the country include the pace of accepting outside modernizing influences and reconciliation between clerical control of the regime and popular government participation and widespread demands for reform. Unemployment among the youth is also an issue.

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People of Iran

Humans have inhabited the area that makes up modern Iran since the stone age. The ancient Persians arrived about 1500 BC, one branch of the great movement of people that also brought northern India and most of Europe their modern populations. The name Iran is from the same root as “Aryan” which, until Hitler perverted it, was just an ancient name for those invading peoples. Persian (or Farsi) is an Indo-European language; ancient Persian was related to Sanskrit, ancient Greek, and all the others in that family. Modern Farsi is closely related to Dari, one of the two main languages of Afghanistan, and to Tajik, a major language of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Persians are ethnically and linguistically unrelated to their neighbors on the West, the Arabs and Turks.

However, Iran has many people other than ethnic Persians. The Northwestern region, Azerbaijan, is largely populated by Azeris, who are ethnically and linguistically close to Turks. Other regions are mostly Kurds or Baluchis, two other Indo-European groups. There are also Armenians, Turkomans, Uzbeks, Tajiks, Arabs, and a small community of sephardic Jews. Afghans have come to Iran for work and education for centuries, and recently many have come as refugees,

There are also two substantial communities of people of Iranian descent in India and Pakistan — Parsis who have been there for over 1000 years, and Iranis who arrived in the 19th and 20th centuries — both Zoroastrians who fled religious persecution in Muslim Iran.

History or iran

Throughout history, Persia has generally been an empire, one whose fortunes varied enormously. In ancient times, Persia controlled most of what we now call the Middle East, and came close to conquering Greece. A few centuries later, Alexander of Macedonia conquered (among other things) the entire Persian Empire. Later, Persia was conquered by the Arabs in the wild expansion of Islam in the centuries immediately after the Prophet; Persian and other languages of the region are still written with the Arabic alphabet. About 1250, Persia was overrun by the Mongols. Marco Polo passed through just after that, learned Persian, and wrote extensively of the region.

At other times, Persia conquered many of her neighbors. Her empire often included much of what we now call Central Asia (Polo counted Bokhara and Samarkand as Persian cities), and sometimes various other areas. A few generations after the Mongols took Persia. the dynasty they founded there took all of Afghanistan and Pakistan, and most of India. The Indian term “Moghul” for some of their rulers is from “Mongol”, via Persia. Even in periods when she did not rule them, Persia has always exerted a large cultural influence on her neighbors, especially Afghanistan and Central Asia.

The Safavid dynasty re-united Persia as an independent state in 1501, established Shi’a Islam as the official religion, and ushered in a golden age of Persian culture. They were overthrown in 1736 by Nadir Shah, the last great Asian conqueror, who expanded the Empire to again include Afghanistan and much of India. His short-lived dynasty and its successor lasted until 1795. Then the Qajar dynasty ruled 1795-1925, a period of heavy pressure from foreign powers, notably Britain and Russia who jointly occupied Iran during World War I. In 1906, Qajar rule became a constitutional monarchy and the Majlis (Persian for parliament) was established.

Iran before its revolutions in 1978

In 1925, a military coup by Reza Shah established a new “Pahlavi” dynasty, named for the most ancient Persian dynasty around 500 BC. His rule was quite nationalistic; he changed the country’s name from “Persia” to “Iran” and built a strong military. It was also quite authoritarian; he built a powerful secret police and a propaganda apparatus, and did not hesitate to crush dissent. He also made considerable efforts toward modernisation, and came into conflict with conservatives over some of it. When World War II came, he refused Allied demands for guarantees that Iran would resist if German forces got that far. Iran was then invaded by Anglo-Indian forces from the South and Russians from the North, and a railway built (largely by US army engineers) to bring supplies from the Gulf across Iran to beleagured Russia. Reza Shah went off to exile in South Africa, abdicating on the steps of the airplane in favour of his son.

The son, Mohammad Shah, continued his father’s nationalistic, authoritarian and modernising tendencies. However, coming to power in 1941, he had a problem; he needed powerful friends, but who? Given the history, no sane Iranian ruler would choose Britain or Russia. Being pro-German had not worked out well for dad and, in 1941, France did not count for much. That left the Americans, and he became one of America’s most important allies in the region, seen as a “bulwark against Communism”, a constitutional monarch, in some ways a progressive ruler — modernising, sometimes comparing himself to Kemal Ataturk who led Turkey’s modernisation — and a protector of US and other Western interests. He was one of very few Middle Eastern rulers to extend diplomatic recognition to Israel and helped prevent Iranian nationalisation of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company. On the other hand, he was quite capable of

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