David Watts photographs the startlingly beautiful landscapes and ancient towns of Iran

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The bazaar in Esfahan - the legant city on the banks of the Zayandeh river

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Ruins at Pasagardae, the first capital of Achaemenid Empire. It was built by Cyrus the Great, known in Iran simply as 'the father', he is attributed with being one of history's great humanitarian and liberating leaders

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Qashqai nomads near Shiraz

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Tea at a converted bathhouse in the desert town of Yazd

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Inside a tea house in Esfahan. Smoking is officially illegal in public spaces in Iran, but this is generally ignored by authorities

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Women walk among the ruins at Persepolis

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Flowers in a field with a backdrop of the Zagros mountains

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The Shah Cheragh (Persian for King of the Light) Mausoleum is a mirrored masterpiece in Shiraz

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Looking through the window of the Shah Cheragh Mausoleum

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Si-o-Seh bridge is 295m long, and was built under the rule of Shah Abbas the Great in the early 17th century. The riverside is the place to relax and be seen in Esfahan

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The Qashqai nomads, famed for their carpet making, are one of a number of nomadic groups in southern Iran

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School girls on a school trip to the Fin Gardens in Kashan throwing coins into a natural spring

David Watts photographs Iran | Travel | guardian.co.uk