Just 30 miles east of the Iranian capital of Tehran lies the city of Pardis. Its name is Persian for “paradise” – but in reality the desert wasteland is anything but. In fact, with dozens of ghostly towers dotting the desolate landscape, the seemingly abandoned location is nothing short of a surreal dream – or should that be nightmare?
And Pardis’ overwhelming emptiness stands in marked contrast to Tehran itself. The Iranian metropolis is home to almost nine million people, you see, while the sprawling Greater Tehran region boasts a whopping 15 million inhabitants. Overall, then, Tehran not only boasts the largest population of any city in Iran, but also in all of Western Asia.
Furthermore – and like the rest of Iran – Tehran has gone through many transformations over the centuries. It has been a prominent city since Classical times, in fact, and has managed to withstand subsequent assaults by Mongol, Turkic and Arab forces. Notably, Tehran was also temporarily detached from the rest of Iran as a result of the country’s wars with Russia.