Guide: This is Rick. In the 20th century, with the discovery of its vast oil reserves, Iran became entwined with the West. The scene could be from five thousand years ago when this corner of Iran was part of the Fertile Crescent. To enjoy a rich and fascinating culture, to get to know a nation that's a leader in its corner of the world — and has been for 2,500 years, and to better understand the 70 million people who call this place home. As an 18-year-old, Rick began traveling on his own, funding his trips by teaching piano lessons. It's different…but it seems to work. the man, not thus bound, remains unaware of this tale. Many colors…, Man: Cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, red pepper, coriander and this is muscat. I've overcome my fear by getting to know the Iranian people. We met two families, who each lost a son in the war, sharing a meal. Woman: Xodâhâfez. Helmet laws are generally ignored. Rick: Thank you; that's nice to hear. Women are perfectly welcome. Each comes with huge carved reliefs displaying their battle prowess. Then I learned that most of its treasures were destroyed or looted by invaders and much of what survived was taken away to the great museums in the West. Some are Sunni, some are Shiite, what's the difference? While our governments may be at odds, the people we met were consistently curious, generous and friendly. I think Isfahan is absolutely beautiful. Woman: I love you, America. You then mix together and like this…. Woman: Yes, government has a lot of war with each other because they benefit but there's no war between people. To cross town quickly, motorcycle taxis are a blessing. The palace of Xerxes is called the Columned Palace because it once had 72 columns. I will go like this…can I take a picture with you and me? Its university is the oldest, biggest and most prestigious in the land. Iran, twice the size of France, sits in an increasingly important corner of Asia — surrounded by Turkey, Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. If you need to get somewhere in a hurry — or if your motorcycle taxi is under some big bus — thank goodness for the subway. Today, over two decades later, the cemetery is still very much alive with mourning loved ones. His job: keep us safe, manage the complicated permissions, and keep an eye on what we're shooting. Shot in Tehran, Shiraz, Esfahan, Persepolis and villages in between, RICK STEVES' IRAN details the country's rich artistic and cultural heritage. G More Rick Steves' Europe on ALL (MT) Rick visits Tehran and a small village for a look at some of civilization's important historical sites and a sense of Iran's 21st-century culture. While I find some of them offensive, I see in these murals the fear and the spine of a people whose values are threatened. We've been invited into a fairly wealthy family's home for dinner and a look at the modern domestic scene. He had angered the West by nationalizing Iranian oil. Join Rick as he explores the most surprising and fascinating land he's ever visited - Iran. Next to the columned palace is the throne hall marked by its distinctive collection of mighty doorways. It has exquisite tile work and was constructed in the early 1600s. Every Iranian school kid knows the date: 1953. Today, August 16, 2009 a progam was shown on the “Create” channel here in Southeast Florida with Rick Steves in Iran. Man: You must say: "Al salaam a'alaykum. This in turn led to this website with Rick’s comment about his experiences there: The only danger I could imagine during my visit would be something explosive falling … Islam Submit totally to him for the good of Persia. I think the best example for the people in the West to understand these matters between Shiite's and Sunni's, is this example of England and Ireland. This is an important issue with the people of Iran. ... Iran: Tehran and Sidetrips. That one? Because we love the…we want to understand the people of Iran and if we can make friends, it's a good thing, I think. Iranian women live under strict Muslim laws in public. While there are plenty of minorities, the Persian population dominates. In 1951 the popular Prime Minister Mossadegh nationalized Iran's foreign-owned oil industry. Man: Puff your candles. Same verses, same writing. The Shah who had fled to Rome comes home backed by General Zahedi military strong-man who engineered his return to power. Audio languages. Man 2: America? Through the '60s there was a return to stability and the shah was a key American ally in the Middle East. My first impression: wild drivers. think 16 LIFE 10/23 20:00: As he's done with previous programs on Israel, Egypt, and Eastern Turkey, Rick takes us beyond Europe to a place that's rich with history...and mystery. They generally spoke some English. In classrooms, it's men on one side and women on the other. ["…situation is open."] With a combination of skill, tradition, and the finest materials, Iranians believe that Persian carpets are the best in the world. The tomb of sheikh Saadi has a similar impact on people from all levels of Iranian society. Well it depends: After Mohammad — about 1390 years ago, after Christ — two thousand and some years ago. Well it depends: After Mohammad — about 1,390 years ago, after Christ — two thousand and some years ago. Under its colorful dome, lattice windows illuminate intricate mosaic work. And those who didn't believe in the system, we call them Sunni's. This isn't just any ice cream sandwich — saffron, rosewater, and pistachios…a Persian specialty. Leaving Tehran was quick and easy with its impressive system of highways. So you can go here. They are Persians and they speak Farsi. Tolerance?…to a degree. An hour's drive from Shiraz takes us to Persepolis, the dazzling capital of the Persian Empire back when it reached from Greece all the way to India. Newsreel: …oil was struck at last and drilling commenced…, During World War II, Iran was a vital oil resource for the Allies. Rick, Great info, keep up the excellent work. Iran has a polite and respectful population even when they disagree with you. It has got nothing to do for being a Shiite or Sunni. I never considered the value of knowing if it's a boy or a girl at the door. Shiraz is famous as the home of beloved Persian poets. Thank you. In the 1980's, one million casualties between Sunni Iraq and Shiite Iran. This travel show host visits splendid monuments of Iran's past, explores the 20th century history of this nation, and encounters Iranian people and customs in everyday life. Tehran's thriving subway moves over a million people a day. I've been wondering to what extent the USA/Iran tensions might be explained by caring people on both sides motivated by love and fear. Because we're here with our camera the women are dressed more conservatively than they would be if they were just here with their family and friends. Woman: Yes. Anywhere foreigners went, signs were bi-lingual: Farsi for locals…and English for everyone else. Very difficult. This encounter provided an opportunity for a quick language lesson. In this one-hour, ground-breaking travel special Steves will go beyond Europe to Iran for a rare, candid, and humanizing look at this powerful and perplexing nation. `` peace be upon us and behavior, I know almost nothing rick steves tehran ’! 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