Sculptor Ahad Hosseini, Tabriz Museum, Tabriz, iran

Hate and Love Spew Out in Articles about Iran Travel

avatar
Sculptor Ahad Hosseini, Tabriz Museum, Tabriz, iran
Piece by Sculptor Ahad Hosseini, Tabriz Museum, Tabriz, Iran

Readers’ comments on online articles about travel to Iran wildly fluctuate between praise and condemnation and I’m still getting used to seeing the sometimes jolting disparity.

Case example: the 191 comments left on The Guardian’s Iran Holiday Guide in the 24 hours since publication.

The article by former Londoner Haleh Anvari (who also authored the brilliant and hilarious take on the Iranian custom of ta’arof ) is a review of some of Iran’s top destinations.

The most interesting part, though, is in the comments section, filled with plenty of emotional discussion (as well as empty space left by incendiary content removed by moderator).

Most of the posts or replies are very positive, praising the Iranian culture, history and the hospitality of its people, like:

Apeiron

I am currently in Iran and I love it. The people are so friendly and the cultural sights are stunning. I would recommend a visit to anyone with an open mind. It is nothing like it is portrayed in the western media.

But then scroll down and suddenly you see something like this:

Tiberman

Aye right,Iran for a holiday, what could go wrong?

Or

Ian Mather

Yeah I’d love to visit.

However, tourism merely indicates to governments that their regimes are acceptable.

When they stop hanging (by slow strangulation) their criminals, including children and anybody deemed to be gay or insulting their superstition I might just decide they are slightly less ignorant savages.

But for every negative comment, there are many retorts, like this:

paddybash

So you wont be visiting then ?I did what an an amazing place ,I also visited the UK when the Sun called Irish people pigs.Its the people that make the place and the Iranians are stunning people.

Enjoy Benidorm or Brighton.

The subject of the mandatory hijab comes up, of course, but it’s pointed out that hijab required in Iran is nothing like what’s required elsewhere in the Middle East.

Kaushik Priyadarshi

To be honest, you can’t really call what women wear in Tehran a “hijab”. Yeah, it’s wrong that it’s mandatory, but it’s more like a light scarf around your neck than a hijab.

If you go in winter, you’ll wear it voluntarily.

The intolerance for homosexuality is pointed out, but then others wrote:

psychopathiclovelord

Homophobia was the normal in the UK until not very long ago. We had such delights as chemical castration and of course prison and becoming ostracised from society. The UK has a culture today of endless conflict, of endlessly bombing countries that can’t defend themselves.

And this unexpected post:

welcometothesuck

My partner and I just came back from a 16 day trip to Iran on Friday. It was stunningly beautiful and the people were among the nicest, delicate, most polite you can imagine. As a gay couple, we never had a single problem and felt safe from day one to the end.
The government is what it is, but it seems that there is a significant gap between extremely harsh laws and how people manage their lives. Iranians we had the chance to meet are enthusiastic about the future and hope to see some incremental changes in politics coming along with the country’s progressive opening to the world.

For some people an Iran holiday is just not a good idea because of their idea of what’s fun. This person was told to stay home or go “inflict” his lifestyle somewhere else:

hadenough1970

Can the wife wear a bikini and can I get pissed every night,if the answer is no then it’s not a holiday imho.

People of Iran at Eil Goli (The Shah's pool), Tabriz Weekend crowd at Eil Goli (The Shah’s pool), Tabriz

After reading the comments, the argument that a visit to Iran is tantamount to support of its politics seems ever more ludicrous.

People who make this argument should also quit buying things  – because invariably at least some of the parts are made in the People’s Republic of China, where human rights activists and political dissidents regularly disappear. And they should quit driving gas-powered vehicles because the petrol could’ve come from Saudi Arabia, where dissidents are beheaded and women can’t get into a car and do what millions of Iranian women do everyday: drive.

sarahcart

Please separate the everyday people from the regime they live under. They share the same aspirations as most of us – family, education and making a living. Further the history, art & literature is breathtaking – remember the ancient civilisation of Persia. An added bonus – the food delicious. I’d go back anytime.

Shepherd and assistant, near Alamut Castle, Qazvin Province, Iran.
To me not visiting Iran is just not worth passing up the opportunity to meet some of the warmest, most friendly and generous people on the planet! Shepherd and assistant, near Alamut Castle, Qazvin Province, Iran.
avatar

Ali and Saeideh plan their Iran roadtrips from their home in Mashhad. More about us here >>

Other dioramas in the category of Authentic Travel in Iran

The Khargerd Ghiasieh complex near Khaaf, Razavi Khorasan Province, in northeast Iran. Copyright Ali Torkzadeh, EscapefromTehran.com

650-year-old Air-Conditioning in Iranian University
The AC still works. No one cares.

The exterior of the Shah Mosque, the quintessential Persian mosque, located in Isfahan, Iran. Copyright Ali Torkzadeh, EscapefromTehran.com

The Architecture of the Persian Mosque for the Iran visitor
Terminology & purpose explained for tourists

Iranian woman street scene tehran escapefromtehran com (1 of 1) 2

The struggle of the Iranian woman
“I’m tired of fighting …”

Fall colors along the river running through the Valley of Purple (Valley of Arghawan) near Mashhad, Razavi Khorsan province, Copyright Ali Torkzadeh, Escapefromtehran.com

Mashhad Day Trip: Purple Valley

Young female shephard, Near Bisheh, Lorestan, Iran

Bisheh Town & Bisheh Waterfall
More Beauty of Western Lorestan

Mountains of Lorestan

Sefid Dasht Area of Lorestan
Mind bogglingly Beautiful Mountainous Terrain

Ethnography Museum at Falak-ol-Aflak Castle, Khorramabad, Lorestan, Iran

Ethnography Museum at Falak-ol-Aflak Castle
Iran’s Largest Ethnography Museum in Khorramabad, Lorestan

Kamarmaghbola Petroglyphs near Torghabe, Mashhad, northeast Iran. Copyright Ali Torkzadeh, Escapefromtehran com

Touring History in Iran: Ancient rock art in my backyard
This time we find 4000-year-old petroglyphs 2 kilometers from our apartment

Samane Ehsaninia, 39, an Iranian quadriplegic visual artist

Samane Ehsaninia: A brave Iranian artist

IranAir Airbus A330, Frankfurt to Tehran, photo by Ali Torkzadeh, EscapefromTehran.com

Is Iran safe for tourists? (Part 3)

Disneys capt jack sparrow in iranian bedrooms iran mall tehran 1

Is Iran safe for travel? (Part 4)

on our traveling by train in Iran we are going to Tehran railway station entrance

Is Iran safe for visitors? (Part 2)

Roadside cardboard depiction of police vehicle in Iranian desert to – I’m not joking – to scare drivers into slowing down. Copyright Ali Torkzadeh, EscapefromTehran.com

Is Iran safe for travel? (Part 1)
NO! But not for the reasons you think

mazandaran shephard seyyed mahmud abolghasemi iran from village of ghaleh sar

Our Iran Road Trip > Meeting a shepherd
The hard life of a shepherd in Iran

Badab Soort or Surt mineral springs in southeastern Mazandaran, Iran travel tourism coastal copyright ali torkzadeh escapefromtehran.com

Badab Soort hot springs of north Iran
Iran’s Answer To Yellowstone’s Hot Springs

alandan or alendan lake deep inside the forest mazandaran iran tourism travel road trip

Camping in Iran: Alendan of Mazandaran
Fresh water lake at 1200 meters above sea level

in our Iran adventure we met ali zabei former racketeer mosbster turned moslem servant sari mazandaran iran copyright ali torkzadeh escapefromtehran.com

Mobster turned Moslem servant
“Mortician, wash my dead body calmly”

on our train trip in Iran Our Fadak train host helping us finding our sits at the Mashhad train station

A Perfect Train trip in Iran
The Tehran to Mashhad “Fadak” line is comfortable and relatively inexpensive

destruction of historical monuments in Iran - the towers at Seyyed Zein Al-Abedin Hoseiniye Sari Mazandaran Iran

Tour of Caspian Coast: City of Sari
The northernmost province of Iran

travel tourism village home in Seyyed Mahalleh near Sari Mazandaran province iran

Waking in a traditional Iranian village home
Deep unscientific analysis of sleeping on the floor in Iran

travel for real mahali local food in iran breakfast in filband mazandaran iran

North Iran Tour: Fantastic local food
And avoiding Iranian hotels on our 4th day of escape from Tehran

An island in an ocean of clouds, Filiband, Mazandaran. A strange world and yet jsut just a daytrip from Tehran

Touring Iran’s Caspian Region: Filband
Day 3 of our aimless escape to the highest point in Iran’s Mazandaran

filband village mazandaran above clouds daytrip from tehran-001

Iran Caspian Trip: Journey into the clouds
The journey to Filband, Mazandran’s highest point

View of the Haraz River one of countless restaurants on the infamous Haraz Road, which links Tehran to Amol, Mazandaran. Copyright Ali Torkzadeh, EscapefromTehran.com

Iran road travel: Tehran to Caspian Sea trip
On the infamous & alluring Haraz Road

Waking up iranian countryside touring travel outside daytrip tehran iran

Iran Road Tour: Mt. Damāvand’s first sighting
Escaping from Tehran keeps paying off

Road outside tehran iran tour tourism travel in iran road trips tourists

How to plan a road tour of Iran
First night of an unorganized trip

Touring Iran's countryside, Scene in the village of Lāsem, in Bala Larijan Rural District, Larijan District, Amol County, Mazandaran Province, Iran. Copyright Ali Torkzadeh, EscapefromTehran.com

Touring Iran’s countryside: Our first night
Iranian village stay on Day 2 of our trip to Khorasan

Shittes, Shia Moslem men Men waiting to be fed as part of commemoration of Ashura in Iran

Religious Holidays in Iran: Lots of Free Food!
Tasty free food is bonus of religious holidays in Iran

Day 1 of trip tehran to mashhad, through the caspian sea region escapefromtehran com 006

Our Iran road trip is really an Escape
And another lesson on Tehran’s ills

The karat tower or karet minaret near town of taybad

Iran’s Towers: “Lighthouses of the desert”
Iranians kept fires burning on these minarets to direct desert traffic

bidel musician jamming setar ali pourataei mashhad iran folklore khorasan music

Music Tourism in Iran: classic Persian Music
This is why I live in Iran!

Cooking sholeh for the commemoration observance of the death of Zahra Fatemeh, daughter of Prophet Muhammad. Copyright Ali Torkzadeh, EscapefromTehran.com

Iran’s Religious Holidays: When men cook
I helped cook more than a ton of an 800-year-old recipe

Nissan patrol, a favorite 4WD in Iran countryside mashhad khorasan razavi copyright ali torkzadeh escapefromtehran com

A tank is just right for Road Trip In Iran
Hunting for rocks and history on our last country stay in northeast Iran

Iranian female photographing outdoors, Golmakan area, one hour outside Mashhad, Khorasan-e Razavi Province, northeast Iran. Copyright Ali Torkzadeh, EscapefromTehran.com.

Tour of Iran’s countryside: full of surprises
The famous Persian hospitality on our weekend trip in northeast Iran

Country home near village of Payeh, Golmakan area, one hour outside Mashhad, Khorasan-e Razavi Province, northeast Iran. Copyright Ali Torkzadeh, EscapefromTehran.com.

A perfect Iran Vacation: sleeping on the floor
In northeast Iran, a simpler traditional living is a short drive away

Mausoleum tomb of abol hasan kharaghani aboul hassan shahrud iran tourism destination mystic sufi 010

Mausoleums of Iran: Sheikh Kharaghani
Abol-Hasan Kharaghani still draws fans from all over the world

Scilla donati european swiss tourist touring iran travel mashhad khorasan ali torkzadeh, escapefromtehran com

Iran visitor: “Totally unexpected generosity”
“It should be the other way around!”

Two irans on a single stroll - Instagram model, Sohanak Iran

Iran Trip Surprises: vast Class & Culture Differences
“Bacon” snacks & joyful shoe shiner; Irony everywhere

Using mobile internet on tehran iran freeway escapefromtehran com

Internet in Iran: Tips for Tourists
Plan ahead before your arrival to stay in touch

Iranair flight airbus a330 Ali Torkzadeh, EscapefromTehran.com

Priceless Theatre flying to Iran
Flying IranAir teaches the Persian mindset

Skyline of Freiburg, Germany, Photo by Ali Torkzadeh, escpaefromtehran.com

Nervous Going to Iran
Why am I nervous If I was happy in Iran?

Hercules and Cacus in Florence

Too much history in Italy & Aching for Iran

Charcoal samavar iranian hospitality babak castle azarbaijan escapefromtehran com charcoal samavar

Travel in East Azarbaijan: Persian Hospitality
Sometimes it’s impossible to walk away from Iranians making an offer you can’t refuse

Ejad nader veteran of iran iraq war bumehen iran copyright ali torkzadeh escapefromtehran com 2646

Memories of War: “It will never let me go”
The story of one Iranian exposed to Saddam Hussein’s mustard gas

Iranian village near sabzevar northeast iran copyright ali torkzadeh escapefromtehran com 7934

Plastic Palm Trees and Korean Soaps on the Ruins of Silk Road
A stunning example of globalization in Iran

Iranian Men climbing toward Baba langar historical sites, near sabzevar, iran

“War is Senseless” – the message of Iran’s History
A visit of priceless structures spanning three millenniums and a lesson on our temporal predicaments

Example of persians adopting engish

Iranian attitude to the West: Intoxicated!
Despite the state’s best efforts, Farsi is as Westernized as ever because acculturation is a way of life in Iran

Sultan Amir Ahmad Bathhouse Kashan Iran Ali Torkzadeh Escapefromtehran

Unearthing Iran’s Past, One Mansion at a Time
Restoration of Kashan’s historical mansions is the work of dedicated artists and architects.

Birjand's old town, architecture trips and tourism, South Khorsan Province, northeast Iran

Birjand’s Old Town: nighttime alley Diving

Nartitee Ecolodge, Taft, Yazd Province, Iran

Fresh from Farm is Real in Iran
With the right connections, eating locally-produced is possible and affordable

Nanvaii (breadmaking Shop) In Central Mashhad, Iran

The Splendor of Fresh Iranian Bread
You seek it out like your life depends on it

Qanat Of Shafiabad, On The Edge Of Dasht E Lut Desert, Kerman Province, Iran

Village of Shafiabad, Dasht-e Lut Desert – in pictures
Pics from our stay on the edge of the Dasht-e Lut desert

Featured Image Mostafa Pour Aliabadi Shafiabad Kerman Iran Ali Torkzadeh Com

From Manual Laborer to Tourism Boss
“Whatever you put out, comes back to you.”

Aliakbar Dandashti, Shepherd From The Village Of Kardak E Khajer

Shepherds of Iran: Aliakbar
“Without kids you’re like a blind man”

Village Of Naiband, South Khorasan Province, Iran

Getting High & Low in Naiband, Part III
Our lesson on quest for “authentic travel”

Village Of Naiband, South Khorasan Province, Iran

Getting High & Low in Naiband, Part II
The vanity of authentic travel: we want real experiences but not the discomforts

Village Of Naiband, South Khorasan Province, Iran

Getting High & Low in Naiband, Part I
We travel to connect to locals not hotel staff

Featured Image Asiatic Cheetah Central Iran Ali Torkzadeh Com (100 Of 1)

The Loneliness of the Wildlife Ranger
“You can really go mad doing this job.”

Featured Image Shepherds Of Iran Central Iran Ali Torkzadeh Com (100 Of 1)

Shepherds of Iran: Marziyeh & Ali

Caravansarai, off Highway 91, near Kuh-e Denband, north of Ravar, Kerman Province, Iran

Another (Abandoned) Caravanserai
Exhilaration and sorrow upon finding another jewel of the desert

Gonabad Museum Of Anthropology, Razavi Khorasan Province, Iran

Massive Glory in Sleepy Town
We find glorious antiquity even in tiny Gonabad

Iran qanat: Ghasabe Qanats Of Gonabad, Razavi Khorasan Province, Iran

Iran Qanat: Swimming & wonder under the desert
Cooling off in an ancient qanat is a treat

Dakhmeh Featured Yazd Ali Torkzadeh Com

The Zoroastrian Dakhma (cemetery) of Yazd
Here the carrion birds feasted on the dead

A Chador Photo Session, Outside Nain, Isfahan Province, Iran

The Chador in the Desert
Photographing a cooperative hijabi can be a lot of fun

Nartitee Ecolodge, Taft, Yazd Province, Iran

Persian Hospitality vs. Iranian Hotel Fiascos
Nartitee Ecolodge is an example of a “homestay” option outshining typical Iranian hotel.

Maybod Yazd Province Narin Fort Iran Ali Torkzadeh Com 100 7

How Not to Visit a 7,000-Year-Old City
I arrived in Meybod ignorant and rushed and missed out on the best

Ibrahim, 72, A Shephard In Iran

Shepherds of Iran: Ibrahim

Persian Host Hospitality Home Nowruz Mashhad Ali Torkzadeh Com

The Anatomy of a Conservative Persian Home Visit

Shopping in and around Jome (JOE-meh) Bazaar, on Tehran's Jomhouri Ave.

Ten-dollar Nightgowns & $5 Gucci Glasses
Tehran’s Friday Bazaar Crowded & Bizarre

Tehran's famed Naderi (NAW-deri) Cafe, established 1927, on Jomhouri Ave.

Naderi Cafe of Tehran
A Tehran Institution Lives On

Naqsh-e Rustam (Necropolis), near Persepolis, near Shiraz, Iran

Ants in the World’s Most Stunning Graveyard
The scale at Naqsh-e Rustam is so huge, the tourists below appear like tiny ants.

Persepolis, near Shiraz, Iran

Melancholy at Persepolis
Are we evolving or devolving one wonders after seeing Persepolis

Vakil Historical Bath, Shiraz, Iran

Vakil Historical Public Bath

Mostafa Rahemi, Attari (Persian traditional medicine man) in Shiraz

The Last Medicine Man

Free Airline Food – Not a Mirage in Iran

Free Airline Food – Not a Mirage in Iran
Flying in Iran is relatively inexpensive. But the best part is the free hot meals.

Iran's unsafe roads Snowy road in khorasan razavi province iran outside mashhad copyright ali torkzadeh escapefromtehran com portrait

Travel in Iran carries the risk of going to jail – WRONG!
It’s far deadlier and not for what you think

Iranian road police, Travel Tour Iran Ali Torkzadeh Com 3363

Final thoughts on the road trip through northwest Iran
I’ve learned so much more about this complex land

Babak Castle East Azerbaijan Ali Torkzadeh Com 2645

Trek to Babak Castle
A Visit to the Home of an Iranian Anti-Arab Hero

Sometimes ducks rule the roads in Lorestan, Iran

Escaping Tehran Once Again
Why we come here reluctantly and leave excitedly

Naval Museum Bandar E Anzali Gilan Province Iran Ali Torkzadeh Com 3124

Museum of Weapons at Shah’s Former Summer Pad
Bandar Anzali, Iran

The abandoned caravansarai of Zafaraniyeh, near Sabzevar, Iran

Waiting in Iran, for 400 years
The day I fell in love with an abandoned caravansarai

Child at the Village of Zafaraniyeh, near Sabzevar, Iran

Stumbling Upon Antiquities in Iran
Highway boredom leads to a day of marveling Iran’s past

“I’ve known people all over Iran and discovered that with people, it’s only their heart that’s big or small,” shepherd Mohammed Motamedi told us.

Extreme Persian Generosity
My Endearing Experiences with the People of Lorestan

The Wailing Wall at Iman Reza Shrine Dar-al Hojjeh, Mashhad, Iran

Iran’s Wailing Wall
Strangely soothing even to a mere spectator

Window of Steel, aka Fulad Window at Imam Reza Shrine, Mashhad, Iran

The Window of Steel
Where Shia Pilgrims Come for Healing

Imāmzādeh Sāleh Mausoleum, Tajrish, Tehran

Imāmzādeh Sāleh Mausoleum
Tajrish, Tehran, Iran

Tajrish Bazaar, Tehran, Iran

Tajrish Bazaar in North Tehran
Great Place to People Watch and Philosophize

Touring picture-perfect Lorestan, Iran

Tour of Western Iran: Three Days in Lorestan
An Unforgettable Exercise in Alternative Touring

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Copyright © 2006 – 2024 escapefromtehran.com