Accompanying Tim Cahill's tale of adventure among the ancient castles of the Assassins in Iran's rugged backcountry ("Everybody Loves the Assassins", October 2002) are images by Manhattan-based photographer Rob Howard. The journey marked the fifth collaboration between the two friends, and Howard's second visit to Iran. Howard, whom Cahill refers to affectionately as "the duck," expresses amazement at the writer's insatiable appetite for the out-of-the ordinary.
CLICK HERE to see outtakes from Rob Howard's assignment in Iran.
"He'll do anything," says Howard. "He'll try anything. He'll eat anything. All for the experience. He's an experience junky. He needs to constantly do amazing things in order to survive."
As an adventure destination, Howard has found Iran a land of surprisestowering peaks, fertile landscape, and warm, welcoming people in a country that's typically presented to Americans as barren and evil. Wary that Iranians might have hardened their attitudes towards Westerners after September 11 and President Bush's reference to the country as one third of the "axis of evil," Howard says he was blown away by the degree of friendship and understanding that Iranians offered him at almost every turn.
"They are so excited that you're an American and visiting their country.
His parting words: "It's a beautiful placeyou gotta go there."
See more of Rob Howard's photos at www.robhowardphoto.com