Mashhad > Tehran > Kerman
In the morning when we went down to the hotel lobby area for breakfast, we encountered a number of wheelchair- bound men. We were told that these were wounded veterans of the Iran/Iraq war. The Iranian government pays for their visit to the Imam’s tomb, putting them up at good hotels and providing transportation. It reminded me that yesterday at the 8th Imam’s shrine compound, over one of the gates there was a loud speaker that announced when another miraculous cure resulting from the Imam’s intervention had occurred. I expect that the injured veterans were there in the hope of benefiting from such a miracle.
We spent the whole day in airports or on airplanes. While there are direct flights between Mashhad and Kerman, the planes are too small to accommodate a group of our size.
At the Mehrabad International Airport in Tehran, one of our group members took a picture that had the same subject as mine –the message from the Ayatollah. He was taken away by security people. In about 15 minutes he returned to report that he had been asked many questions. I guess I was lucky that I was shooting from farther away and that my camera was not so visible. In any case an airport is a very touchy place to take pictures in many places in the world.