Rich & Very Rich

Photo essay: Luxury homes in Amirdasht, northern Iran

by Yashar Zhalehdoust
Amirdasht is an exclusive community in Kelarabad, near Tonekabon in Mazandaran Province. Eight years ago I took some pictures of the homes [see "Not too shabby"]. Here's an update. Also see more photo essays here


Waste of time and money... so ugly!

by Nazila ksh on

these rich people are mindless honestly!! these are the most ugliest Persian houses I ever seen!money never brings talent..


Who Owns These Homes?

by HHH on

I tell you who owns these mansions. The so called "Bazari" people. The same people who financed IRI & mullahs. Then regime destroyed our economy causing 10,000% inflation and made these Bazaris shops' values go from 500,000 toman to 5,000,000,000 toman. Their incomes rose from 15000 tomans/month to 15,000,000 tomans/month. Ofcourse they can afford to buy a piece of land in Mazandaran for 50million toman  then invest another 400-500 million to build it.

In a "khar-2-khar" country where there's no laws, regulations or justice any charlatan can rob people to the top as millions have been doing for centuries.


Are they rich??

by comments on

Are they "rich"?!!  I think they have a place to live or they invest their money somehow.  We don't call those people rich any more.  We call them people who are able to afford a place, which is a next step to living in a trailer or Halabi abad.

If they were relatively wealthy, they would have had/invest such a house in the north of Tehran.  However, those in the North of Tehran, who own such a house, have several children to feed and divide the house as a heritage since most children/adult children of parents are unemployed in Tehran.

This looks like to sell your luxury very small condo in downtown Manhatan and buy a huge house in suburb, or buy many houses in Alaska.........

Please search the definition of rich and rich people in the internet, and you will find what "rich" means.......real rich........not someone who owns a place in suburb kelardasht.... 

Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime

Everything is relative in life, and Iran is no exception!

by Everybody Loves Somebody ... on

Even in a barrel of poop, you may find a shallow spot where you are only in it up to your ankles high as opposed to your eye balls!


What is the purpose of showing these pictures?

by Siavash300 on

I am a little suspecious of showig these pictures to public because standard of living in Iran drastically dropped from the shah's days. What intention is the photographer is pursuing is still big question in my mind. The country is sinking into poverty and prostitution in form of Segheh and the photographer is showing mansions in nothern Iran.


Big issue

by MRX1 on

The big issue is the destruction of environment in a country that is mostly desert and arid and has serious water shortage issue. The sad fact are, that these houses  are most likley being built on the fertile forsted land in Iran and loss of that will sooner or later impact the quality of life.


Afshin: Excellent post.

by vildemose on

Afshin: Excellent post. Couldn't agree more. While more than half of the population lives below or a little above poverty line, highlighting  self-indugent  opulence  is nothing but grotesque propaganda.

Anahid Hojjati

I am with Afshin

by Anahid Hojjati on

Sadly these houses only represent villas of a minority of people and many in Iran live in poverty. I am all for showing more of regular life in Iran rather than showing the exceptions. That said, these pictures show us the class divide when we remember those pictures of the poor areas. By the way even in Shah's time, we had the mansions and the halabiabad so the problem did not start with IRI. However during Shah's time, some middle class families were able to prosper and now I think this is harder.

Soosan Khanoom


by Soosan Khanoom on

Of all those things you mentioned ....

one thing truly makes me sad  and that is  " children begging "....

Children in Iran have never had any rights and they still do not have ....Sadly enough they are too young to even understand their rights and / or to do anything about it ....  No one even represents them or fight for their rights ... they are forgotten not only by the government but also by the people ....


Every now and then someone

by afshin on

Every now and then someone comes back from Iran, posting pictures of the supposedly nice areas. Not sure what purpose this really serves. Is it to say that Iran is well off? Or is the architecture of these crappy facades suppose to impress us? There are middle class neighborhoods within a mile of where I live right now, that outshine any of these edifices both in build quality and design. All around the Kelardasht area there are these affluent areas (in Iranian terms) that are surrounded by slums and other areas where trash and disorder is abound. Let us even assume, that these buildings are impressive, which they are not. They are still located in a country, which by most standards is a toilet, hence why the photographer does not live there in the first place. If you're going to spend money in Iran, and by extension prop up this murderous regime, at least make some effort to show what people have to live with on a day to day basis. And it doesn't have to even be political. No sense in getting yourself in trouble over there. Show the prices in a market, or the rampant garbage and littering in the street. Show women in the back of the bus, or children begging. Take a picture of an average city intersection, you know, the one with no traffic light and a hundred people who think they all have the right of way. Iran is the epitome of a lawless toilet. If it weren't for oil, it would be another Afghanistan or Pakistan.

Mash Ghasem

اسرار گنج دره جنی

Mash Ghasem

جیم. دال. نکته های شما در مورد خراب کاری ایرانیان در معماری بورلی هیلز
این حقیر را به یاد اثر خاطره بر انگیز ابراهیم گلستان "اسرار گنج دره جنی"
انداخت. هر چی دنبال فیلم گشتم پیداش نکردم. از دوستان آیا کسی دسترسی  به
این فیلم دارد؟ با  تشکر



by yolanda on

This video is Amirdasht in shows a beachfront house with people eating on Persisan carpet....of course, women without hijab!


This video is Amirdasht in 1975. It also has ocean view and a guy surfing in the ocean.......people seemed to have a relexing shows a pretty green lawn with sprinkler system:


Apparently Amirdasht is close to the beach.


Darya kenar is a gated

by vildemose on

Darya kenar is a gated community in Babolsar, or at least it used to be. I don't think Kelardeh is close to Babolsar??


Vildemose & Hamsadeh Ghdimi

by Sid Sarshar on

Vildemose:  It is walking distance to the beach, maybe a mile.  There are also some nice beaches in this area.  Years ago Islamists would clash with the guests at the beaches, but eventually economy prevailed and residents can enjoy a walk along the beach without fear.


Hamsadeh Ghadimi, Kelardasht is also beautiful.  Regarding the comments from Jish Daram, I think he is mistaking northern style flirt with profanity.  I can understand how a visitor can take this type of communication for mistake.  Keep in mind, people in northern Iran are much more open and a bit more “hashari” than the rest of the country


Disgusting disign !

by fkhatami on

you can tell all these buildings designed by contractors not Architects.

حالم بهم خورد، یکی‌ از یکی‌ زشت تر.



by RostamZ on

The most tasteless architecture that I have ever seen. I think the owners designed it themselves so they don't pay the architect.


Amirdasht .....

by R2-D2 on

hamsade ghadimi

sid, i haven't been to

by hamsade ghadimi on

sid, i haven't been to amirdasht.  i related my memories from a similar gated community in kelardasht which as you said is inland.  a small minority of residents are not connected to the regime and they don't socialize with them.  the people who tattletale on them are the actual dehati residents as 'j.d.' said.  by the way, although the houses were very fancy in the gated community in kelardasht, they werent' as gigantic in the ones on this blog.  although, i've heard they have completed a new community in the area.

j.d., so true on the fahaashi in the north.  in masooleh, there was this cafe owner who had the foulest mouth i've ever heard.  every other word he used was madar.., khaar...  only locals went to his cafe (was off main "street").  he was so entertaining, i hung out a couple of hours in his cafe everyday just to laugh at their jokes and dirty humor. also heard very colorful language in fooman on the way to masooleh.


Funny Thing about the Shah

by amirparvizforsecularmonarchy on

He had the country positioned to surpass the UK economy.

I was reading that the average school teacher in the UK gets a retirement bonus of 500,000 pounds and the average headmaster gets a retirement bonus of 2,000,000 Pouds. 

And Iran was on its way to surpass that, wow.  Looks like we all know what Irans teachers are going to be getting at retirement now as a direct result of their betrayal.  We even all know in which hole it will go.

Bend over and Enjoy.



sid sarshar: How far is it

by vildemose on

sid sarshar: How far is it from Darya kenar??



thanks for the clarification Sarshar

by alaaf on

Yes on second thought these homes look very grounded and Kelardasht is very steep and mountanous but still just as luxurious. I'll never forget the first time we went there. Amazing mist and atmosphere.


Consider the facts.

by amirparvizforsecularmonarchy on

IRI sepah controls/owns 60% of irans economy.

As for the rest of the economy it has been in a downward death spiral for the last 32 years.  Basically because we lost the king as well as the great team that surrounded him.  Irans economy was 4 times larger than turkeys in 1978 with shahs team (mostly in creating irans middle class, today it's less than 50% the size of turkeys economy.

Lessons of being lied to regarding the extent of Inequality, without discussing the programs in place to counter act it during the shahstime are tough to learn, but such is life.

When there are so many donkeys among the people, why walk, infact if you enjoy sadism you can even torture your donkeys and rape them with no knee pads as they provide you your free ride. 

This is what needs to happen for a people that don't see the benefits of class and choose the lowest, least educated, most cruel and stupid people to run their government, I mean the mullahs of course.

As for the Shah, Roohesh shad, Javid Shah!


This is not Kelardasht

by Sid Sarshar on

Kelardasht is around 2 hours away and is higher elevation.  Less Jungle, more dasht but very green.  Amirdasht is a walking distance to the caspian sea.


Amirdasht or Kelardasht?

by alaaf on


Have they change the name of Kelarsasht to Amirdasht by any chance? The similarities are uncanny. Alot of great memories of driving up Jadeh Chaloos with family, listening to Ahmad Reza Nabizadeh. Don't Judge ;)


Also I loled at the usual suspect suggesting the owners of these mansions are Sepahe Pasdaran or connected to the government. It just shows how much they know about today's Iran and its society. Not surprising at all. 


Jeesh Daram

رد و بدل فحش

Jeesh Daram

برعکس رژیم گذشته که فحش دادن بسیار معمول بود، امروزه در ایران بندرت می بینید کسی فحشهای رکیک با فرد دیگری رد وبدل کند.  تنها استثا در شمال بود. هر جا رفتیم تاکسی ران با شوفر دیگری سر اینکه نوبت از آن کیست فحش خواهر و مادر ردو بدل میکردند و راننده درون تاکسی وقتی راننده دیگری خطا میکرد فحش خواهر و مادر را بیدریغ و از صمیم قلب از پنجره ماشین به آباٍ و اجداد طرف پرتاب میکرد. همانگونه که شهر میبد مرکز هنر سرامیک است و بیجار محل بافت قالیچه های زیبا، رشت و فومن شاید پایتخت فحش خواهر و مادر ایران باشد. نزدیک همین امیردشت شبی را گذراندم. یک نوع نفرت عمومی نسبت به صاحبان این خانه ها بچشم میخورد و شاید دلیل آن گرانی کالا ها بخاطر حضور چنین همسایه های ثروتمند میباشد که قدرت خرید مردم محلی را کاهش داده اند.  یکی میگفت اکثر این خانه ها متعلق به جراهان پلاستیک میباشد.  شاید بقیه آنها نیز متعلق به مهندسین مغز است. بهرصورت نمایشگاهی است از کالاهای ساختمانی و همان رقابت زشت سازی در ساختمان که همانگونه که اطلاع دارید بورلی هیلز را نیز به گند کشید، تا آنکه مردم شکایت کردند از دست ایرانیانی که خانه های مرمری میسازند با دیوارهای سه متری و ستونهای بی قواره یونانی و افراط در بکار بردن میله های آهنی. در بهشت زهرا نیز همین افراط در بکار بردن میله آهنی دور قبرها بچشم میخورد. یکی باید سوال کند مگر مرغ دونی باز کرده اید؟ خوب بگذارید مّیت زبون بسته یک نفسی بکشد. در این دنیا که آزاد نبود، اون دنیا هم میخواهید دورش میله بکشید.  برای کشوری که در آمد بسیاری از خانواده های آن کمتر از دو هزار ریال در روز است (یک دلار و سی سنت) آیا میتوان به چنین ساختمانهایی که کاملا محیط زیست شمال را خراب کرده اند بالید؟ مصالح ساختمانی که فرهنگ نمی آفریند


I don't think you can

by TheMrs on

I don't think you can afford these homes unless you have successful businesses. And in Iran, you can't be too successful unless you are some how putting up with the regime. You have to bribe people, cut deals with people, put up with people...people people people who are all dirty in one way or another.

Still, I'm amazed at how little privacy these houses afford. Some are nice.


A Cultured Community

by Sid Sarshar on

Amirdasht is 20 minutes from my home in Shahsavar.  It is one of the most desirable places to live in Iran.  A gated community which the cultural police forces are not allowed to enter.  In the evenings women go for a walk without hejab.  Amirdasht also has a reputation for having a large artist community residing in it.  All and All, a piece of heaven on earth.


Great quote by vildemose from blogger in Iran

by Bavafa on

how true but sad! Mehrdad

hamsade ghadimi

esfand jan, i like your

by hamsade ghadimi on

esfand jan, i like your sorority girl defense "y'all are just jealous." :)  i can sense that you're salivating to live in one of those asghar lloyd wright mansions.  not me.  it's funny how you would cross over to the iri side just to defend a silly one-liner you made.

incidentally, there is a huge compound outside of kelardasht which is isolated and tucked away from the rest of the macmansion developments that was built and used by reza shah (you have to hike up the wooded hill north of kelardasht to see it).  now it's used by khamenei et al.  the locals are ready to tell you who lives in the mcmanstions and reza shah's old compound.  very hard working people indeed.  just like the u.s. 


The gap between the rich

by vildemose on

The gap between the rich and the poor is much more wider now than it ever was during the Pahlavis. Income gap even between the middle class and the rich has windened exponentially. The wealth and the poverty distribution has never been so unequal and unjust in recent history...We need to be grateful though because our power (terrorist power) is growing in the region.