Inside Iran

NBC’s Ann Curry shares photographs from NBC’s reporting inside this secretive and surprising nation.

The issue of women's rights is front and center, as Iran's presidential election draws near. Women live double lives in Iran. One shopkeeper told us that she has clients who wear the traditional chador, but buy sleeveless dresses and wear them in the privacy of their own homes.

Even women who resist traditional dress must cover their heads as it is the law. In the captial of Tehran, many women have a modern approach of complying with the law by finding fashionable ways to wear hijabs or headscarves. This photograph was taken outside a restaurant in Darband, an area on the outskirts of Tehran.

President Ahmadinejad declined an NBC request for an interview, but invited us to attend a press conference. There, we were allowed to ask him a question. We asked about Iran's nuclear ambitions. He replied, "In the context of our legal rights we will continue with our program. We are principally opposed to the production and proliferation of nuclear weapons. We feel that this is a disservice, if you will, to humanity."

Photograph of shopkeepers at an Iranian market. Iran's economy is in trouble as inflation is over 20 percent in the country.

Even if President Ahmadinejad wins reelection, he has heard his people want better relations with the world, and a stronger economy.

In Iran, the past and the future collide every where you look. Photograph taken in Esfahan, Iran.

For the past 30 years, thousands of believers have gathered together in Tehran for prayer every Friday. Leaders of the Islamic revolution speak at these gatherings.

Women at Friday prayers are separated from the men and are required to cover themselves to maintain modesty.