National Geographic : 1951 Oct
SpiaTL -92 Se a. Chalus ...... ..... a,; Dasht-i-Kavir A N IA) Khur. Ardistan 0 *Shahriza SYezd 13370+ . Bafq Shir Kuh ' Abadeh 14030 i14 0 13010+ SDehBid GachSaran Pdargadae €o < S a Naksh-i-Rustam Persepolis* * Kazerun Mard:asht 1780 SShiraz 04 10420 10460+ Madvar 11810+ B Niriz 'N? t\ .Anar ihramabad Iusilre SAUDI NEUTRAL Firuzabad* O 50 100oo \TERRITORY GtLf STATUTE MILES ARABIA L Oil pipe i - Oilfelds A n Aow I 0, Highwa= .-. oiiv --.--------o-------i-------------^ ------------- -------- 428 Drawn by Ierbert E. Eastwood and Victor J. Kelley The Ancient Land of Iran-Hot Spot of the Middle East-Is Vast, Strategic, and Oil-rich Great Britain, France, Italy, and Spain could fit inside Iran with room to spare. It is a bridge between Far Eastern Asia and the Mediterranean world, and is a neighbor of Soviet Russia. Beneath Iran's soil lies nearly an eighth of the world's proved petroleum reserves; control of this vast resource is the aim of Iran's struggle to nationalize its British-built oil industry. Oil fields lie on the flank of the Zagros Mountains. soccer match with a team of Tehran All Stars in the city's stadium (page 434). Getting acquainted with Tehran took time. Most of our first two weeks were spent drink ing countless glasses of tea with Iranian of ficials, filling out Government forms, and ob taining the numerous permits foreigners need. Moreover, it was spring, and the Persian New Year. Slender poplar trees showed faint green along streets and in walled gardens, birds were singing, and the midday sun was waxing strong. And in a land where fardah (tomorrow) is the watchword, spring fever is harder to combat. "Tomorrow you must come with me and enjoy a real Persian holiday," invited a new acquaintance. "What's the occasion?" I asked. "It's the 13th day of the New Year," he replied. "Our year begins on March 21. Before the old year is out, families plant wheat or lentil seeds in a shallow bowl. To morrow they will go on picnics and cast the sprouts into running water. In this way they U.S.S.R.