City slicker than most
The Imam Khomeini International Airport will remind you of any modern airport in Asia. Beware having an Israeli visa in your passport; it’s like a red rag to a bull. And if you do have one, you’ll need a year’s cool-off period to get past immigration. Tehran last month did not resemble a metropolis under siege of decades of sanctions. Its 15 million people look none the worse for it. Instead, Tehran holds a mirror for New Delhi to emulate its Swachh Iran reality: no garbage, no beggars, no stray animals on the streets. So fastidious is the municipality about cleanliness that horse-drawn carriages in some areas have contraptions attached to collect horseshit. But you will encounter enormous traffic jams along the most modern road network accompanied by an elaborate system of flyovers and a metro. Leafy pathways along expressways are flanked by houses both old and new with a distinct Parisian style, overlooked by only a few highrise buildings. Most homes carry pictorial depictions of ancient love stories, bedecked with colourful flowers. New Tehran straddles the slopes of a 5,000 feet hill range which in June still has traces of winter snow while the local temperature is 42° Celsius. Arid and barren land has been reclaimed with green cover and abundant foliage. Tehran, they say, is not a patch on other cities in Iran, all served with excellent highways and Persian hospitality. Welcome to the post-Revolution Iran.