Mohammad Mossadegh – Iran’s democratically elected Prime Minister (and Man of the Year) – nationalised the company and expelled the British on fears they might conspire to oust him. In 1953, Churchill, in cahoots with US President Eisenhower, Iran’s royal family, the CIA, and millions in bribe money, pulled off a coup that would see the septuagenarian live out his final 14 years under house arrest.Shah Mohammad Reza – pro-Western, pro-women’s rights, profligate spender – was reinstalled, only to flee 26 years later amid festering opposition and the return of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, a conservative Shiite cleric he’d exiled 13 years prior. But 43 years on, it’s a history that, on many counts, persists into the present for everyday Iranians. I don’t watch the news much and have very little idea about current world affairs. Iran doesn’t seem to be a big tourist destination, so let me give you a few of the highlights from my time there. Iran actually has 4 seasons; it even snowed shortly after I left.Persian Rugs: We went to the Bazaar where they sold the Persian rugs that are sold all around the world.
The people: The Iranians I have met are some of the friendliest people I know. I was expecting more diversity but it looks like Peugeot is killing it here. I was told that if you ever drive and see one of these cars called niisans (I think) then run away as soon as you can. On driving: There were a lot of Peugeots (In Tabriz), that are based on the Hillman Hunter design.I once tried to shake a ladies hand and when she looked at me, uncertain what to do.I looked at my organizer friend and he gave me the subtle head shaking “don’t do that” look.