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Iran is a land of enormous geographic diversity where all four seasons can be experienced in a single day. Two long and rugged mountain ranges that separate various basins from one another, combined with two very long coastlines, lead to the creation of a diverse climate in Iran. In the northern coastal plain between the Alborz Mountains and the Caspian Sea, the climate is subtropical and temperatures rarely fall below freezing. In the Zagors Mountain basin to the west, winter temperatures can drop well below freezing (as low as -200F), and heavy snow often covers the land in the winter. In the southern coastal plains of the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, winters are mild and summers are very hot and humid. The eastern and central basins are arid, with less than 7 inches of annual precipitation and summer temperatures in excess of 1000F. The Loot Desert in eastern Iran has been ranked the hottest place on earth with a record high temperature of 1600F.
In northwest Iran near the Turkish border this ancient capital of Armenia (founded in the 3rd century BC) is now a sprawling industrial city surrounded by mountains. Famed for its calligraphy and bookmaking in the 13th century Tabriz was well placed on trade routes and played an important role in Iran’s history.
The city (pop. 1 089 000) is home to the Azeri Turks ,Iran’s largest minority group. While there visit the ruined 14th-century Ali Shah Mosque (its walls are 85 ft/26 m high) the 13th-century Blue Mosque (beautiful mosaic works) and the Jame Mosque. In the nearby city of Ardabil (pop. 150 000) lies the Shaikh Safi Tomb where the world’s most valuable carpet was discovered (it’s now in London’s Victoria and Albert Museum). Huge Daryacheh ye Oroumieh (Lake Uremia) which lies west of Tabriz is noted for its healing salt water and medicinal mud. A full day is needed to see Tabriz. 465 mil /750 km from Tehran.