Iran, once known as Persia, is an ancient country with a history as diverse as its geography. Once a major political power, it is home to historic sites that date back more than 2,000 years. Iran advanced world knowledge through its understandings of algebra and trigonometry. It is a land that is rich in tradition and blessed with natural beauty.
Iran is strategically located in south central Asia, bordering the Persian Gulf. Its climate ranges from semi-arid in the north to subtropical in the south. It is comprised of a mountainous topography marked by dry desert-like plateaus in the central part of the country and warm beaches along the gulf.
The Silk Road
The Silk Road was an early trading route that connected China with the Mediterranean civilizations. A portion of this road passed through Iran's northern mountains. The road still exists today as a paved road that follows the original route from thousands of years ago.
Tourists can visit the ruins of Persepolis, the ancient ceremonial capital of Persia. They can also see Pasargard, the capital and final resting place of Cyrus the Great who was the founder of the Persian Empire.
A popular tourist destination in the Persian Gulf is the resort island of Kish. Although today it is known for its shopping and scuba diving, it was once a place for trading ships to resupply with water and other goods.
Because of the lasting effects from the Islamic revolution in 1979 and some continued hostility toward Americans, U.S. citizens are advised against traveling to Iran. The U.S. State Department travel advisories include warnings of harassment or arrest. Travelers should register with the U.S. Interests Section of the Swiss Embassy in Tehran.
E.H. McKenzie is an emergency services information technology professional who has been involved in writing technical and training manuals for the past 10 years. He holds a Bachelors degree in history from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and has focused on writing for eHow on topics involving the fire service and military history themes.