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"Wavescan" is a weekly program for long distance radio hobbyists produced by Dr. Adrian M. Peterson, Coordinator of International Relations for Adventist World Radio. AWR carries the program over many of its stations (including shortwave). Adrian Peterson is a highly regarded DXer and radio historian, and often includes features on radio history in his program. We are reproducing those features below, with Dr. Peterson's permission and assistance.

Wavescan 486, April 25, 2004

Radio Anniversary in Iran

The Middle Eastern country of Iran is located on the southwestern edge of Asia.  It is a little over one thousand miles long and a little less than a thousand miles wide,with a total area of two thirds of a million square miles. 

The total population is around fifty million,and the capital city is Tehran,with around five million inhabitants.  Iran is a very picturesque country,with high snow-covered mountain-ranges, wide barren deserts and many large salt water lakes. 

Even though Tehran has been described as one of the most modern cities in the Middle East, yet one of the most fascinating aspects of Iran is its long and interesting history.  Iran is one of the oldest countries in the world, and its history goes way back into the Persian era more than three thousand years ago. 

The earliest settlers in Iran came down from the north and were known as the Elamites.  Other tribal peoples moved into the area subsequently and established their own regional societies.

The height of political glory in ancient Persia was achieved under the Archaemenid rulers, and at one stage the Persian Empire was made up of 127 provinces stretching from India to Ethiopia.  A glimpse of their past glory may be gained in viewing the monumental ruins of ancient cities, temples and palaces in such places as Persepolis, Pasargadae and Apardana.

Wireless communication came to Iran in the early 1920s when station VTF was established by the Indo-European Telegraph Department at Busher on the Gulf coast.  This station was established for the purpose of regional communication, direct communication with England, and intermediate communication between England and India.

The first radio broadcasting station in Iran was a temporary mediumwave facility that was established in Tehran in 1938.  Thirty years later, a postage stamp was issued to commemorate the first broadcast from this station, which occurred on February 22.

Permanent radio came to Iran in 1940 when a combined mediumwave and shortwave facility was constructed on the edge of Tehran.  This new radio station contained a 30 kw. mediumwave transmitter on 895 kHz under the callsign EQA, and two shortwave transmitters at 20 kw. with the callsigns EPB and EQB.  The auspicious date for the inauguraton of this combination radio station was April 24, 1940, hence their 64th anniversary just yesterday.
Plans were announced in 1963 for the construction of a massive new shortwave station at Kamalabad, adjoining the older base that was now more than 20 years old.  At maximum capacity, this station is said to have contained a total of 36 shortwave transmitters rated at 100, 250 and 500 kw., and this would have to be one of the very largest radio stations anywhere on planet earth.

In addition, regional shortwave stations have been established in more than a dozen cities throughout Iran, and even to this day four of these locations are listed as still active.  These four regional shortwave stations are located at Ahwaz, Mahshad, Sirjahn and Zahedan, with a total of 18 transmitters rated at 250 and 500 kw.

In addition to their massive network of superpower shortwave stations, Iran also maintains a huge network of gigantic mediumwave stations.  These mediumwave stations, more than 100 of them, are located throughout the country, and they range in rated output right up to a massive superpower of 2,000 kw.

Over the years, many international radio listeners have received prized QSLs from various radio stations throughout Iran, mediumwave as well as shortwave.  Our own collection contains QSLs from six different mediumwave stations in Iran, as well as six QSL cards from their shortwave services.

In earlier years, the radio stations in Iran issued registered letters to confirm reception reports, though in more recent times, attractive oversized cards were printed, showing monuments and tourist attractions throughout their country.