Iran may be on the verge of complete transformation with the imminent threat of US/British military action in their efforts to start world war three but it’s still a great place to travel.
Iran has been so isolated from the western world that there’s still nothing to watch on TV and so the Iranians retain their characteristic calm and patience – dig it, they’ll wait until you’ve finished speaking, pause and then make a considered reply. The ancient art of listening.
In recent years there’s been a steady trickle of tourism in Iran, especially through the main cities with the most impressive ancient mosques. But again, no one ventures out to meet the carpet-weaving nomads in the desert, or into the Kurdish areas in the East.
Far from being reviled as an infidel or agent of the Great Satan (the US), Iranians will for the most part be absolutely delighted at your visit. They’re ravenous for information or news from the outside world, where things like music and dancing are allowed (both considered un-Islamic under the current religious regime).
If it’s too traditional and dull for you with the endless family meals on the ubiquitous carpets of Iranian homes, you can always delve into the heart of polluted, congested Tehran. There thrive circles of richer Iranians who never forsook their Western lifestyle, holding parties behind closed doors – as a real foreigner you’ll be welcomed with open arms, provided you can maintain discretion.
Check out the Iran Travel Guide for more.