Mashad in Iran is known all over the world to Shii muslims as a place of pilgrimage. As the burial site of the 8th Imam Ali ibn Musa al-Rida (Imam Reza) it is the only one out of 11 burial sites of Shii Imams that is located in Iran and thus accessible to a large number of Shia pilgrims. (Six of the other burial sites are in Iraq and the other 4 in Saudi-Arabia).
The major tourist attraction of Mashad is the Shrine of said Imam. Unfortunately the inner parts of the shrine are closed to non-muslims. However, even the outside is so magnificent that it is well worth the trip. Plus the Iranian officials will likely let you in anyway if you convince them that 1) inshallah you might become muslim 2) you will behave yourself properly inside.
Mashad International Airport (MHD) is the second busiest airport in the country and offers many domestic and international services with dozens of airlines. Some of the main destinations include Esfahan, Tehran, Yerevan, Bishkek, Bahrain, Damascus, Tabriz, Beirut, Dammam, Kuala Lumpur, Kuwait, Jeddah, Dubai, Dushanbe, Shiraz, Yazd, Kabul, Bangkok, Doha, Lahore and Istanbul.
You'll find internet cafes in most cities and even smaller towns now have access to the world wide web. Like other countries with a very strict censorship, the country has strict rules about using the internet and also has a very restricted domestic version, highly unlikely to be used by travellers. Connections are generally good and it's cheap to use as well.
See also International Telephone Calls
The international country calling code of Iran is +98. Special numbers include 110 for the Police, 115 for Ambulance, 125 for the Fire Department and 112 for calls from mobile phones. Iran Telecom is the main telecommunication company in the country and provides, together with Irancell, almost all mobile services as well.
You can find a complete list of telephone codes at Farsinet.com.
The I.R. Iran Post Service is the national postal service in Iran. Services are fairly reliable and cheap, but rather slow. It usually takes at least several weeks for your letter or postcard to arrive in European countries, longer for other Western areas. Post officies generally are open from around 7:30am to 3:00pm Saturday to Thursday, so the main offices in big cities tend to have somewhat longer hours. Your best bet is to visit in the morning if you need to use their services. Stamps can usually be bought at small shops and kiosks as well. Sending parcels is more expensive but also quicker and more reliable with international companies like FedEx, DHL, TNT and UPS.
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