TEHRAN — Iranian traffice authorities have announced the removal of any "Latin" spellings of names and driving instructions in Tehran.
The move comes as a surprise as many Iranians are hoping for a boom in foreign visitors following the phase-out of international sanctions. The capital's head of traffic, Ja'far Tashakkori-Hashemi, recently told Iran's ISNA news agency that the move to make all signs in Persian came after years of people complaining that Tehran signs were "insufficient and badly placed," the daily Shargh reported. He did not elaborate on the link between the placement and language of street signs, but the move may be intended to satisfy Iranian drivers who only read Persian.
To aid foreigners, he said, the city would "complement" street names with a numerical system, presumably in the manner of cities like Manhattan or Bogotá. Tashakkori-Hashemi said "specialists are currently creating a model for city streets based on numbers."
Perhaps it is linked to the end of sanctions after all: Fifth Avenue may be coming to Tehran!