Thursday, January 12, 2012

Iran - From Inside You (Probably) Never Seen Before

Iran has appeared in numerous headlines around the world in recent months, usually attached to stories about military exercises and other saber-rattlings, economic sanctions, a suspected nuclear program, and varied political struggles. Iran is a country of more than 75 million people with a diverse history stretching back many thousands of years.

While over 90 percent of Iranians belong to the Shia branch of Islam, the official state religion, Iran is also home to nearly 300,000 Christians, and the largest community of Jews in the Middle East outside Israel. At a time when military and political images seem to dominate the news about Iran, it would be interesting to take a recent look inside the country, to see its people through the lenses of agency photographers.

Keep in mind that foreign media are still subject to Iranian restrictions on reporting.

Iranian grooms, Javad Jafari, left, and his brother, Mehdi, right, pose for photographs with their brides, Maryam Sadeghi, second left, and Zahra Abolghasemi, who wear their formal wedding dresses prior to their wedding in Ghalehsar village, about 220 mi (360 km) northeast of the capital Tehran, Iran, on July 15, 2011. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi) 

Iranians Morteza Alavi and Mehdi Hagh Badri fly with a tandem paraglider over northwestern Tehran, on May 20, 2011. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)  

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