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Isfahan

Isfahan experiences a moderate and dry climate on the whole. It is the country’s third largest city …

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and  it is famous for its handicrafts such as silk carpets, silverware, copper work, woodwork, brass work, pottery also special sweets (Gaz) and traditional delicious foods. The city is also well known for its Qalamkari; hand printed cotton fabrics.

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Best Time to Go

Spring and fall are the best seasons to travel to Isfahan, although the temperatures are comfortable year-round.

UNESCO sites

Naqsh-e Jahan Square along with the Isfahan Bazaar, Lutfollah and Imam Mosques and Ali Qapu Palace, Jame Mosque of Isfahan, The Persian Garden: Chehel Sotun Garden.

ATTRACTIONS

The Bridge of 33 Arches (Si-o-seh pol), This structure was commissioned by Shah Abbas I in 1602. It was built under the supervision of Allahverdi Khan, his famous chancellor.

Why “Si o Seh Pol”?

The bridge was formerly known as Allahverdi Khan Bridge, later became popular as “Si o Seh Pol” because of its 33 arches. The bridge is built on a series of lower and upper arches of great width.

On the southern end of the bridge, there is a wonderful tea house. The footpath on the top is enclosed by high walls and the roof of the arches which give you shelter from the wind and the sun while you are walking through.

The khajo Bridge which was built around 1650 under the reign of Shah Abbas II derives its name from the district of Khajou on the northern bank. The bridge is some 110 meters long and about 20m wide and it is a replica of the older “Si o Sel Pol” Bridge with extended features.

On the eastern side of the bridge, there is a basin for collecting irrigation water for the surrounding area, which is drawn off in a series of channels. On the western side, there are a series of downward steps separated by the flow of water.

People used to gather to talk or perhaps to do their laundry. The spacious second story with a series of niches for people to sit is built over the 20 lower arches. In the center of the bridge, you can see an octagonal pavilion which is now used as an art gallery.

Atashkadeh (Zoroastrian fire temple), is a Sassanid­ era archaeological complex located on a hill of the same name about eight kilometers west of city center of Isfahan, Iran.

Marabin Fire temple

The hill, which rises about 210 meters above the surrounding plain, was previously called Maras or Marabin after a village near there, and it is by that name that the site is referred to by Arab historians.

One part of the complex, on the southern flank of the hill, are the remains of a citadel of about twenty buildings (or rooms within buildings), many of which—particularly those in the lower half of cluster—are however only evident as foundation traces.

Several buildings in the cluster have a classic char taq “four arches” floor plan, characteristic of Zoroastrian fire temples of the 3rd century onwards and that are the actual Atashgahs that housed sacred fires.

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Other buildings include what may have been storage rooms and living quarters for priests and affluent pilgrims. A tentative identification of the purpose of the ruins was first made in 1937 by Andre Godard, but it was not until 1960, when architect Maxine Siroux made the first drawings, that the site could be properly studied. Godard’s identifications were subsequently confirmed by Klaus Schippman in 1971.
Another feature of the complex are the remains of a tower like circular building on the very top of the same hill. This structure, which was once at least twenty meters high, is known by the local populace as the Burj­i Gurban, or Burj­i Kurban, “Tower of Sacrifice,” and appears to have been a military watch­tower with a flare that could be lit to warn of an approaching enemy (i.e. a beacon). In both cases, the remaining walls are of baked brick, held together with a clay red mixture. In the 10th century, the buildings were used by the Esmā’ili inhabitants of Isfahan to hide from tax collectors. The Arab historian Masudi visited the site around the same time and records local tradition as having believed that the site was converted from one of idol worship to one of fire by “King Yustasf (i.e. Vishtaspa, the patron of Zoroaster) when he adopted the religion of the Magi.

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Naghsh e Jahan square, formerly known as Shah square, was the heart of Esfahan at the time of Safavids in the 17th century which was used for assembling troops, playing polo, celebrations and for public executions.
Before Shah Abbas I added these monuments, an 11th-century garden existed in the vicinity of Imam square which was called Naghsh e Jahan (image of the world). The square is exceptionally significant because of its unique combination of architectural elements including arcades, floral ornaments, vast courtyard and flowering trees.
Without prejudice, it can be called the most impressive square in Iran as it is bordered by magnificent historical buildings of Safavids dynasty. The surrounding monumental buildings are Imam Mosque to the south, Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque to the east, Palace of Ali Qapu to the west and Qeysariyeh Bazaar to the north. Naghsh e Jahan Square was enlisted as world heritage site by UNESCO in 1979.

Masjed-e Jāmé of Isfahan

Located in the historic center of Isfahan, the Masjed-e Jāmé (‘Friday mosque’) can be seen as a stunning illustration of the evolution of mosque architecture over twelve centuries, starting in ad 841. It is the oldest preserved edifice of its type in Iran and a prototype for later mosque designs throughout Central Asia. The complex, covering more than 20,000 m2, is also the first Islamic building that adapted the four-courtyard layout of Sassanid palaces to Islamic religious architecture. Its double-shelled ribbed domes represent an architectural innovation that inspired builders throughout the region. The site also features remarkable decorative details representative of stylistic developments over more than a thousand years of Islamic art.

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Sheikh Lotf Allah Mosque

Located in Naqsh-e Jahan Square, east side. One of the architectural masterpieces of Safavid Iranian architecture, this mosque is considered to be the most beautiful in Iran. Built in 1602 by Shah Abbas and designed by his chief architect, Sheikh Bahai. The mosque was designed to be a private mosque for the royal family and therefore it does not have any minarets. There is a tunnel from the mosque to the Royal Palace, across the square.

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Wooden Bridge, One of the oldest bridges in Isfahan with a simple structure is Pol-e-choobi. The bridge which connected the royal gardens on the two sides of the river was a private pass way for the royal family and important visitors but was not intended for public use.
The actual name is Joobi (having a gutter) which refers to the channel along the bridge which carried water to the other side. The current name “choobi” (Wooden) is the wrong pronunciation of the name which was popularized by the local people in the past century.

Ali-Qapu-Palace, the wide front porch whose refined roofing is carried by 18 thin wooden columns was used for watching ceremonies and games. Each floor can be easily accessed by an interesting spiral stairway.

The painting and plaster work of the palace are absolutely impressive, especially in the reception hall and music room. In the music room, a fretwork of niches and shapes are cut into the wood which served for the acoustics of the room besides their decorative function.

The walls of the upper floors are decorated with plaster membrane covered with beautiful paintings of flowers and vessels.

Hasht Behesht Palace, Once the most luxuriously decorated in Isfahan, the interior of the small Hasht Behesht Palace( Eight Heaven Palace) has been extensively damaged over the years.

However, it retains a seductive tranquility, with the soaring wooden columns on its open-sided terrace seeming to mirror the trees in the surrounding park. This mansion is an example of residential palaces of last Safavid rulers. It has built in the 1080 A.D and its other names are Eight to Eight, Eight to Eden, Night angel garden. It is an octagonal mansion with four facades which with all similarities no one is like the other.

It looks like north facade is the main facade while the existence of pool on the east side of the main facade is determined. This mansion has built two meters above the ground level and has two floors.

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first floor rooms in the four corners of the mansion have stucco and painting ornaments, on the second floor there are a series of porches and rooms with inlaid doors and windows. In the middle of the hall, there is a pond made of marble which is known as pearl pond. The feature of this pond is that the water comes out of its holes like pearls. Around of this place, there is a luxurious and beautiful park that is already one of the famous promenades of Isfahan city.  All of the travelers and tourists who have visited Isfahan and have managed to enter the Hasht Behesht Palace has called it one of the most beautiful monuments of the world.

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Chehel Sotoun Palace (The Palace of forty columns) was used for the Shah’s entertainment and receptions of foreign guests. The name, “Forty Columns,” was inspired by the reflecting image of its 20 wooden columns in the waters of the fountain. The ceramic paintings contain many aesthetic compositions in the traditional miniature style depicting a number of historical events as well as some romance scenes.

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Built by Shah Abbas II in 1647, Chehel Sotoun is situated in the middle of a park at the far end of a long pool.The historical scenes show the battle of Taher­Abad in 1510 where Shah Ismail I killed the Uzbek King, the battle of Chalderan against the Ottoman Sultan Selim II in 1514, the welcome extended to the Mughal Emperor, Humayun, who took refuge in Iran in 1544, a banquet in honor of the Emir of Bukhara in 1611, a reception for an Uzbek King in 1646 and the most recent one; Nadir Shah’s victory against the Indian Army in 1739. Unfortunately, some ceramic panels are missing, said to be kept in western museums and some were badly damaged during the Afghan invasion. It’s Persian Gardens is one of nine inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Contains some spectacular battle murals.

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Manar Jonban (The Swinging Minaret) is the building basically a mausoleum built in 1316 with two minarets each 17 meters high and 10 meters far from each other. When one of the minarets starts shaking, the other one starts shaking simultaneously, therefore the vibration can be felt in the whole structure.

Mardavij Pigeon Tower, Hundreds of pigeon towers or dovecotes, dating largely to the Safavid reign, dot the fields in the vicinity of Isfahan. (17th century)

Distinct examples of secular architecture in Iran, these structures played an important role, much like the subterranean canal system (qanats), in sustaining the hinterland that made possible an urban center at Isfahan.

The turrets built with the purpose of collecting pigeon dung were a significant source of local revenue and were frequently decorated with white plaster and crenelations.

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These cylindrical towers constructed of brick, gypsum and lime plaster would range from 15 to 25 meters in diameter to often imposing heights of 20 meters or more. Topped with domes with crevices to allow access to honeycombed interiors, each pigeon tower could accommodate thousands of the Persian wild pigeon that could be harvested annually for dung to manure fields and soften leather in Isfahan’s famed tanneries. Agriculture in the fertile but nitrogen lacking Isfahan plains was largely supported in this manner, and the legendary melons grown in the region were particularly dependent on this fertilizer. These structures have been deteriorating with little maintenance ever since they were rendered functionally obsolete with a modern use of chemical fertilizers and tanning chemicals. There has been a significant drop in pigeon tower numbers from the thousands reported in seventeenth-century accounts of Safavid Isfahan by French traveler Chardin, to the present day count of approximately a remaining hundred in the entire province.

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Sarban minaret (Persian: مناره ساربان‎‎) is a historical minaret in Isfahan, Iran. It dates back to the Seljuq era. The Sarban minaret is located in the north of Jouybareh district, not far from Chehel Dokhtaran minaret. It seems that there was a mosque beside this minaret in the past, but it does not exist anymore.

The minaret consists of seven different parts. The first part has brick bolster work. The second and third parts have masterly decorative brickwork. The fourth part is its first crown, which has brick Muqarnas with turquoise tiles. The fifth part has decorative bricks. The sixth part is the second crown and the seventh part is the vertex of the minaret. The minaret is 54 m high and is the highest historical minaret in the Isfahan province.

MUSEUMS

Ali Qoli Aqa Bath museum was built by a Safavid courtier of the same name. The bath has been turned into a museum open to the public.

Address: Masjid Seyyed St., Ayatollah Bidabadi St.
Saturdays to Thursdays (8:30 am – 1:30 pm /2:30 pm – 5:00 pm)
On Friday (9:00 pm – 1:00 pm)
Closed on Religious Holidays

Chehel Sotoun palace was built in a vast garden around the 11th century in Isfahan. It is one example of palaces in Safavian era in Isfahan.This famous building has a blue hall with decorative plaster modeling and also fine and exquisite miniatures by Reza Abbasi.

In your journey to Isfahan don’t miss visiting the most original Iranian paintings. High Eiwan of Chehel Sotoun with twenty wooden columns gives the palace grandeur and special gesture. This famous building was open for public visitors in 1337 after the revolution was closed and open again in 1367 as Chehel Sotoun museum. Chehel Sotoun is an archaeology and anthropology museum.

Address: Darvazeh Dolat St., Imam Hossein Sq., Sepah St., Ostandari St.
Saturday – Friday: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm | Closed on Religious Holidays

Decorative art Museum or Fine Art Museum, Fine art Museum of Iran with an area around 2600 square meters presents hundreds of exquisite artworks for public visitors.Rakib khaneh was built and used for keeping equitation fittings and royal horses around 400 years ago simultaneous with First Shah Abbas reign.

This house is divided into seven sectors 1. Calligraphy 2. Lacquer and Oil work. Traditional hand-woven and in swings 4. Miniatures 5. 6. Wooden works 7. Glassware and Ceramic. In this museum, you will visit samples of most beautiful handicrafts of Iran.

Address: Ostandary Av. in front of Pardis University
Saturday – Wednesday: 8-13, Thursday: 8-12

Contemporary Art Museum, recent Building of contemporary art museum is a considerable and beautiful building with an area around 3000 square meters survived from Qajar Dynasty. This Museum has 6 galleries that are open all year round with different artworks of artists in various fields. Also in this museum, we keep manuscripts of exquisite Qurans.

Address: Imam hossein square,Ostandary Av.
Saturday- Friday: 9-11 and 16-19

Vank Armenian Museum was opened in 1930 and is located inside the Vank Cathedral. The museum houses manuscripts, books, paintings and historical relics.

Address: Hakim Crossroad, Nazar Miyani St., Vank Cathedral St., Vank Cathedral
Saturdays to Thursdays 8:30 am – 5:30 pm | Fridays 8:30 am – 12:30 am | Open every day

Vank Cathedral

Vank Cathedral was constructed by Armenians immigrants who settled in Isfahan after the Ottoman War of 1603-­1605. The construction of this church commenced under the supervision of Archbishop David in 1606 and was completed around 1660. Despite the unexciting exterior and entrance, the interior is richly decorated with oil paintings of Jesus Christ and holy Christian characters. The central dome’s blue and gold paintings depict the Biblical story of the creation of the world and man’s expulsion from Eden. The ceiling above the entrance is painted with delicate floral motifs in the style of Persian miniature. There are a number of graves around a freestanding belfry. On the other end of the courtyard, there is a library and museum building, the exterior of which is decorated with stone carvings of some biblical scenes.
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Music Museum is the first private and official music museum in Iran which was opened to the public in December 2015.  This museum has been launched by two music masters to demonstrate Iranian musical instruments which have been collected from different parts of Iran. A collection of old and interesting 300 traditional musical instruments has been gathered in this museum. It is very professional yet cozy place with a great friendly cafe, cheap souvenir, live music.

Address: First of Mehrdad street, Towhid street, Isfahan
weekdays: 9-21

Malek Sultan Jarchi Bashi

Fine dining with a warm welcome, Visiting Jarchi Bashi restaurant will fill you with warmth and put you in food heaven also a beautiful selection to get your mouth watering. Malek Soltan Jarchi Bashi restaurant is a good choice if you’re looking for a richly decorated place. It has a colorful setting and it serves great Biryanis. It is located in Sepah Street, Hakim Street, seventh alley.
“Blazer (Jarchi) meaning of the word and Officers of the Court and the court of Safavid and Qajar periods assigned to deliver news was heard.During the restoration and improvement of this valuable historical monument”

Shahrzad

Opulent Qajar style wall paintings, stained glass windows, and battalions of black suited waiters contribute to the Shahrzad’s reputation as the best restaurant in Esfahan. House specialties include the lamb cutlets, the khoresht-e mast and the chelo fesenjun . At the end of the meal, you’ll be offered a complimentary piece of Gaz flavored with almond and rosewater.
The restaurant was built in 1346 by the help and support of Mr. Abdolrahim Frudastan. It was used to Engineer Ebrahimian idea and help in its construction and completion. The master mark man like Mr. Chaichi, Rashtian and Meraatian have presented their art works skillfully in this restaurant. They have left them here fan permanently. These caused that Shahrzad was introduced not only as a restaurant but also as a fair of Iranian art. It was built on the base of attracting the people and patenting its qualification, after that the managers have attempted to protect and act those methods. They try to use the best equipment and preparations and also the expert’s stuff to present the samples of Old Iranian civilization and culture.

Khan Gostar

This restaurant is located inside the Julfa Hotel. You will find a kind of erratic, bustling environment inside rather than a composed, laid back one. The service is extremely efficient and the menu contains many dishes from Iranian cities and the suburbs, in addition to freshly prepared colorful salads and sweet dishes from the Middle East.  The restaurant is known especially for its humongous platters of every dish – a single serving of any dish usually suffices for two light eaters.

Bastani

Bastani is a Persian restaurant which serves a number of seafood dishes as well.

Isfahan Aquarium Tunnel is the biggest Aquarium Tunnel located in Iran. This attraction located in Najvan Natural Park in the east of Isfahan. This can make some new looks to Isfahan historical city.

aqvarioumisf
sofeh Mountain is located in the south west of Isfahan. The highest peak is 2257 meters. There are two small springs of water in Sofeh Mountain.
On the left side of the Sofeh, there are a series of hills. Isfahan to Shiraz road passes through these hills. The main Sofeh Mountain is about 590 meters high from ground level. The Sofeh Mountain was few kilometers far from Isfahan, but Isfahan has rapidly expended, and now it is located in the far south west of Isfahan Sofeh and its surrounding hills have converted to a beautiful park which covers at least 100 hectares. A wonderful panoramic view of the metropolitan city of Isfahan can be seen from the Sofeh Mountain especially at night. Sofeh Mountain is the closest slope for a large number of Isfahan’s citizens who practice mountain climbing every early morning, even before the sun rises.

Birds garden of Isfahan was founded in 1990 s by the municipality of Isfahan and it’s now under the supervision of the recreation and welfare organization of the municipality. The Birds garden has an area of 17000 m². It’s enclosed and covered by a chain -link fence pitched on 11 metal columns with the height of at most 22 m. More than 5000 birds from 130 different species are kept in the garden. The birds belong to the different parts of Iran and also other countries like Australia, Indonesia, China, and Tanzania.

Parandegan park
chaharbaghbala

Chaharbagh Boulevard is a historical Boulevard in the city of Isfahan dating from the Safavids era built around 1596. The name Chahar Bagh (four gardens) refers to a popular garden plan consisting of four plots divided by waterways or paths. At its inception, it was 1,650 meters long and was lined by palaces and residences of noblemen. The gardens have since been converted into roadways connecting the south of the part of the city to the north with trees lining on the sides.

wahe recreational tourism complex, there are those that vacation to far off destinations, and there are those that explore the distance between. Varzane Desert (the correct word Khara desert) is located in Isfahan province, about 100 km of Isfahan and 150 km of Yazd. Here is one of the most beautiful deserts in Iran to enjoy the glory of a night in the desert further visiting unique places in the village during the day.

  • Entertainment Activities
  • Camel Riding: We have affectionate camels at the resort and all of them are very calm and patient. Camel riding is one of the loveliest activities in nature. Sitting high on the camel makes you will feel closer to the sun and the sky.
  • Biking: Riding a bicycle on the sand is another fun activity in the desert. There is a long track that goes in between the Tagh trees and passes the dunes and takes you deeper in the infinite beauty of the desert. Cycling, especially during the sunset with the gorgeous orange and purple sky and the cool breeze caressing your face, is priceless.
  • Observing stars: Observing the stunning night sky with millions of stars, planets, and galaxies with a telescope is a fascinating experience. We have astronomers in a site that will help you to see all the amazing planets in the sky and will teach a lot about them.
  • Restaurants: There is two kind of restaurants here that you can experience local food and drinks as you desire.
  • Desert exploration
  • Off road drive

Parks & Gardens

Shopping Center

Bazaars

Souvenirs

Gav Khouni Swamp is located 167 kilometers southeast of Isfahan city. The swamp is home to migratory birds, making it a brilliant place for bird watching.

Gav Khoni Swamp
Fereydun Shahr

Fereydun Shahr and Semirom is a beautiful country side with the famous Takt-e Soleyman waterfall and several springs.

Shahrestan Bridge is located in the neighborhood of a village called by the same name. It is a pre-Islamic architecture. Archaeologists believe that it was built during Sassanid and Achaemenid dynasty. A part of brick arches is from Seljuk dynasty.

shahrestanibridge

Isfahan International Airport

(IATA: IFN, ICAO: OIFM) is an international airport serving the city of Isfahan, Iran. The airport is named in honor of Shahid Beheshti. The airport currently has one terminal which is for both domestic and international flights. However, there will be a new terminal built soon which will be only for international flights.

Airlines & Destinations

AirlinesDestinationsTerminal
Air ArabiaSharjahInternational
Ata AirlinesMashhad, TabrizDomestic
Ata AirlinesTbilisiInternational
AtlasGlobalAdanaInternational
Atrak AirCharter: MashhadDomestic
Austrian AirlinesVienna (begins 4 September 2016)International
Caspian AirlinesAsaluyeh, Kish Island, MashhadDomestic
Caspian AirlinesCharter: Baghdad, NajafInternational
FlyBaghdadBaghdadInternational
flydubaiDubai-InternationalInternational
Freebird AirlinesSeasonal: AdanaInternational
Iran AirAbadan, Ahvaz, Bandar Abbas, Bushehr, Kangan, Kerman, Kermanshah, Kish Island, Lavan Island, Mashhad, Rasht, Sirri Island, Shiraz, Tabriz, Tehran-Mehrabad, ZahedanDomestic
Iran AirBaghdad, Dubai-International, Kuwait City
Seasonal: Jeddah, Medina
International
Iran Air ToursAbadan, Ahvaz, Bandar Abbas, Jam, Kish Island, Mahshahr, Mashhad, Tehran-MehrabadDomestic
Iran Air ToursBaghdad, NajafInternational
Iran Aseman AirlinesAbadan, Ahvaz, Asaluyeh, Bahregan, Bandar Abbas, Dezful, Jam, Kangan, Kharg Island, Lamerd, Lavan Island, Shiraz, Mashhad, Tehran-Mehrabad, ZahedanDomestic
Iraqi AirwaysBaghdad, NajafInternational
Kish AirlinesAhvaz, Asaluyeh, Bandar Abbas, Kish Island, Mahshahr, Mashhad, Tehran-MehrabadDomestic
Kish AirlinesBaghdad, Dubai-International, Najaf
Charter: Istanbul-Sabiha Gökçen
International
Mahan AirAsaluyeh, Kerman, Kharg Island, Mashhad, Qeshm, Tabriz, Tehran-MehrabadDomestic
Mahan AirBaghdad, Najaf
Seasonal charter: Jeddah
International
Meraj AirlinesKish Island, MashhadDomestic
Naft AirlinesAhvaz, Asaluyeh, Bahregan, Bandar Abbas, Dezful, Lamerd, Lavan Island, Kish Island, Mahshahr, Mashhad, Sirri Island, Shiraz, Tehran-MehrabadDomestic
Naft AirlinesSeasonal: YerevanInternational
Onur AirIstanbul-AtatürkInternational
Qeshm AirlinesAhvaz, Kish Island, Mahshahr, Mashhad, Qeshm, Rasht, Tehran-MehrabadDomestic
Qeshm AirlinesBaghdad, Dubai-International, NajafInternational
SaudiaSeasonal: Jeddah, MedinaInternational
Taban AirAbadan, Ahvaz, Asaluyeh, Kermanshah, Kish Island, Mashhad, Qeshm, Rasht, Tehran-MehrabadDomestic
Taban AirBaghdad, Beirut, Dubai-International, Istanbul-Atatürk, Najaf
Seasonal: Tblisi, Yerevan
International
Tailwind AirlinesSeasonal: Adana, AntalyaInternational
Turkish AirlinesIstanbul-AtatürkInternational
Zagros AirlinesAhvaz, Kish Island, Mahshahr, Mashhad, Rasht, Sirri Island, Tehran-MehrabadDomestic
Zagros AirlinesBaghdad, Najaf
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