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Updated:Saturday 11th October 2014

Mashhad Definition

Mashhad is the second largest city in Iran; located in north Iran which is a holy city for Shiite Muslims hosting the Shrine of Imam Reza. For centuries it has been an important trade centre along the caravan routes and highways of the Middle East. It was damaged in a Mongol attack in 1220 and was sacked by Turkmen and Uzbeks in the 16th-17th centuries. Nader Shah made Mashhad his capital.Mashhad means the place of martyrdom. Mashhad used to be a small village called Sanabad situated 24km away from Tus. In 808 when Harun ol-Rashid, Abbasi caliph, was marching against the insurrection of Rafi-ibn-Leith in Transoxiana, he became ill and died. He was buried under the palace of Hamid ibn Qahtabi. Several years later in 818 Imam Reza was martyred by Al-Ma'mun and was buried beside the grave of Harun after which the place was called as Mashhad al-Reza.After Mongol raids in 1220 and destruction of many large cities in Greater Khorassan territories, Mashhad remained relatively intact, becoming a migration center. As one of the main cities of the Timurid dynasty, in 1418 Shahrokh's wife funded the construction of an outstanding mosque beside the shrine, which is known as Goharshad Mosque.Shah Ismail I conquered Mashhad after the death of Hossein Bayghara and the decline of the Timurid dynasty. Mashhad was later captured by the Uzbeks until 1597 when Shah Abbas defeated them in several battles and drove them beyond the Oxus River. Mashhad saw its greatest glory under Nader Shah who made the city his capital. Agha Mohammad Khan Qajar conquered the Khorassan in 1796. In 1912, the sanctuary of the Imam Reza was bombed and plundered by Russian forces. (Wikipedia) - Mashhad For other uses, see Mashhad (disambiguation). Mashhad Maŝhad Country Province County Bakhsh Mashhad-Sanabad-Toos Government  • Mayor (Ŝahrdār) Area  • City  • Metro Elevation Population (2010)  • City  • Population Rank in Iran   Demonym Time zone  • Summer (DST) Website
Motto: City of paradise (Shahre behesht)
MashhadLocation of Mashhad in Iran
Coordinates: 36°18′N 59°36′E / 36.300°N 59.600°E / 36.300; 59.600Coordinates: 36°18′N 59°36′E / 36.300°N 59.600°E / 36.300; 59.600
Razavi Khorasan
818 AD
Sowlat Mortazavi
850 km2 (330 sq mi)
3,946 km2 (1,524 sq mi)
985 m (3,232 ft)
3,069,941 (Metropolitan) 3,131,586 (City itself) (2,011 Census)
Over 20 million pilgrims and tourists per year
Mashhadi, Mashadi, Mashdi (informal)
IRST (UTC+03:30)
IRDT (UTC+04:30)

Mashhad (Persian: Maŝhad‎ ;  listen (help·info)) is the second most populous city in Iran and is the capital of Razavi Khorasan Province. It is located in the north east of the country close to the borders of Afghanistan and Turkmenistan. Its population is 3,131,586 . It was a major oasis along the ancient Silk Road connecting with Merv in the East.

Mashhad is the hometown of some of the most significant Iranian literary figures and artists such as Mehdi Akhavan-Sales, the famous contemporary poet and Mohammad-Reza Shajarian, the traditional Iranian singer and composer. Mashhad is also known as the city of Ferdowsi, the Iranian poet of Shahnameh, which is considered to be the national epic of Iran. Ferdowsi and Akhavan Sales are both buried in Tus, an ancient city that is considered to be the main origin of the current city of Mashhad. The city is however most well known and respected for housing the tomb of Imam Reza, the eighth Shia Imam. Every year millions of pilgrims visit the Imam Reza shrine and pay their tributes to Imam Reza.

  • 1 History
    • 1.1 Etymology
    • 1.2 1935 Imam Reza shrine rebellion
    • 1.3 1994 Imam Reza shrine bombing
    • 1.4 Panoramic view of Mashhad City
  • 2 Geography and demographics
    • 2.1 Climate
  • 3 Religion
  • 4 Economy
  • 5 Language
  • 6 Culture
  • 7 Main sites
  • 8 Gallery
  • 9 Transportation
    • 9.1 Airport
    • 9.2 Metro
    • 9.3 Rail
  • 10 Colleges and universities
  • 11 Major sport teams
  • 12 Mashhad as capital of Persia and Independent Khorasan
  • 13 Famous people from Mashhad and Tus
  • 14 Sister cities
  • 15 Consulates
    • 15.1 Active
    • 15.2 Former
  • 16 See also
  • 17 Footnotes
  • 18 References
  • 19 External links

History Etymology

The name Mashhad comes from Arabic, meaning the place of martyrdom the place where Ali ar-Ridha (Persian, Imam Reza), the eighth Imam of Shia Muslims, was martyred and so his shrine was placed there.

At the beginning of the 9th century (3rd century AH) Mashhad was a small village called Sanabad situated 24 km away from Tus. There was a summer palace of "Hamid ibn Qahtabi", the governor of Khorasan. In 808 when Harun al-Rashid, Abbasid caliph, was passing through there to settle down the insurrection of Rafi ibn al-Layth in Transoxania, he became ill and died. He was buried under the palace of Hamid ibn Qahtabi. Several years later in 818 Imam Ali al-Reza was martyred by Al-Ma''mun and was buried beside the grave of Harun.

After this event this place was called as Mashhad al-Rida (the place of martyrdom of Ali al-Rida). Shias started visiting there for pilgrimage of his grave. By the end of the 9th century a dome was built on the grave and many buildings and Bazaars sprang up around it. During more than a millennium it has been devastated and reconstructed several times.

It was not considered a great city until Mongol raids in 1220 which caused the destruction of many large cities in the Greater Khorasan territories, leaving Mashhad relatively intact. Thus the survivors of the massacres migrated to Mashhad. When the famous world traveller Ibn Battuta visited the town in 1333, he reported that it was a large town with abundant fruit trees, streams and mills. A great dome of elegant construction surmounts the noble mausoleum, the walls being decorated with colored tiles.

Later on, during the Shahrokh era, it became one of the main cities of the Timurid dynasty. In 1418 his wife Goharshad funded the construction of an outstanding mosque beside the shrine, which is known as Goharshad Mosque. The mosque remains relatively intact to this date, its great size an indicator to the status the city held in the 15th century.

Shah Ismail I, founder of the Safavid dynasty, conquered Mashhad after the death of Husayn Bayqarah and the decline of the Timurid dynasty. Mashhad was later captured by the Uzbeks during the reign of Shah Abbas I, only to be retaken by the Shah Abbas in the year of 1597 after a long and severe struggle, defeating the Uzbeks in a great battle near Herat as well as managing to drive them beyond the Oxus River.

Shah Abbas I wanted to encourage Iranians to go to Mashhad for pilgrimage, he himself is known to have walked from Isfahan to Mashhad. During the Safavid era Mashhad gained even more religious recognition, becoming the most important city of the Greater Khorasan as several Madrasah and other structures were built beside the shrine of the Imam Reza.

Besides its religious significance, Mashhad has played an important political role as well. It saw its greatest glory under Nadir Shah, ruler of Iran from 1736 to 1747 and also a great benefactor of the shrine of the Imam Reza, making the city his capital. Mashhad was ruled by Shahrukh Afshar and remained the capital of the Afsharid dynasty during Zand dynasty until Agha Mohammad Khan Qajar conquered the then larger region of Khorasan in 1796.

In 1912, the sanctuary of the Imam Reza was bombed by the Russian artillery fire, causing some damage, including to the golden dome, resulting in a widespread and persisting resentment in the Shiite Muslim world.

1935 Imam Reza shrine rebellion Main article: Imam Reza shrine rebellion

In 1935 a backlash against the modernizing, anti-religious policies of Reza Shah erupted in the Mashed shrine. Responding to a cleric who denounced the Shah''s heretical innovations, corruption and heavy consumer taxes, many bazaaris and villagers took refuge in the shrine, chanted slogans such as "The Shah is a new Yezid." For four full days local police and army refused to violate the shrine and the standoff was ended when troops from Azerbaijan arrived and broke into the shrine, killing dozens and injuring hundreds, and marking a final rupture between Shi''ite clergy and the Shah.

1994 Imam Reza shrine bombing

On June 20, 1994, an explosion from a bomb occurred in a prayer hall of the shrine of the Imam Reza The bomb that killed at least 25 people on June 20 in Mashhad exploded at Ashura. The Baluch terrorist, Ramzi Yousef, a Sunni Muslim turned Wahhabi, one of the main perpetrators of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, was found to be behind the plot. However, official state media blamed Mehdi Nahvi, a supposed member of the People''s Mujahedin of Iran (MKO) in order to prevent sectarian violence.

Panoramic view of Mashhad CityGeography and demographics

The city is located at 36.20º North latitude and 59.35º East longitude, in the valley of the Kashaf River near Turkmenistan, between the two mountain ranges of Binalood and Hezar-masjed. The city benefits from the proximity of the mountains, having cool winters, pleasant springs, mild summers, and beautiful autumns. It is only about 250 km (160 mi) from Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.

The city is the administrative center of Mashhad County (or the Shahrestan of Mashhad) as well as the somewhat smaller district (Bakhsh) of Mashhad. The city itself, excluding parts of the surrounding Bakhsh and Shahrestan, is divided into 13 smaller administrative units, with a total population of more than 3 million.

The vast majority of the Mashhadi people are ethnic Persians who form over 95% of the city''s population. Other ethnic groups include Kurdish and Turkmen people who have emigrated recently to the city from the North Khorasan province. The people of Mashhad who look like Asians are of Turkmen or Hazara descent.

Among the non-Iranians, there are immigrant population of Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan. The Afghan immigrants have several neighborhoods around the city. One of the districts inhabited by Afghan immigrants is Golshahr.

There are also over 20 million pilgrims who visit the city every year.


Mashhad features a steppe climate (Köppen BSk) with hot summers and cool winters. The city only sees about 250 mm of precipitation per year, some of which occasionally falls in the form of snow. Mashhad also has wetter and drier periods with the bulk of the annual precipitation falling between the months of December and May. Summers are typically hot and dry, with high temperatures sometimes exceeding 35 °C (95 °F). Winters are typically cool to cold and somewhat damper, with overnight lows routinely dropping below freezing. Mashhad enjoys on average just under 2900 hours of sunshine per year.

Climate data for Mashhad Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year Record high °C (°F) Average high °C (°F) Average low °C (°F) Record low °C (°F) Precipitation mm (inches) Mean monthly sunshine hours
24 (75) 26 (79) 32 (90) 35.4 (95.7) 39.2 (102.6) 41.6 (106.9) 43.8 (110.8) 42.4 (108.3) 42 (108) 35.8 (96.4) 29.4 (84.9) 28.2 (82.8) 43.8 (110.8)
7.2 (45) 9.2 (48.6) 13.9 (57) 20.8 (69.4) 26.6 (79.9) 32.2 (90) 34.4 (93.9) 33 (91) 28.9 (84) 22.3 (72.1) 15.4 (59.7) 9.7 (49.5) 21.1 (70)
−3.8 (25.2) −2.1 (28.2) 2.6 (36.7) 8.2 (46.8) 12.2 (54) 16.2 (61.2) 18.5 (65.3) 16.2 (61.2) 11.5 (52.7) 6.1 (43) 1.7 (35.1) −1.9 (28.6) 7.1 (44.8)
−27 (−17) −28 (−18) −13 (9) −7 (19) −1 (30) 4 (39) 10 (50) 5 (41) −1 (30) −8 (18) −16 (3) −25 (−13) −28 (−18)
33 (1.3) 35.2 (1.386) 55.6 (2.189) 46.3 (1.823) 27.6 (1.087) 4.2 (0.165) 1.1 (0.043) 0.8 (0.031) 1.7 (0.067) 8.6 (0.339) 15.4 (0.606) 24.7 (0.972) 254.2 (10.008)
149.1 147.3 161.2 198.6 279.2 341.7 366.1 358.7 304.5 247.4 187.5 151.1 2,892.4
Religion See also: Imam Reza shrine

Today the holy shrine and its museum holds one of the most extensive cultural and artistic treasuries of Iran, in particular manuscript books and paintings. Several important theological schools are associated with the shrine of the Eighth Imam.

The second largest holy city in the world, Mashhad attracts more than 20 million tourists and pilgrims every year, many of whom come to pay homage to the Imam Reza shrine (the eighth Shi''ite Imam). It has been a magnet for travellers since medieval times. Thus, even as those who complete the pilgrimage to Mecca receive the title of Haji, those who make the pilgrimage to Mashhad—and especially to the Imam Reza shrine—are known as Mashtee, a term employed also of its inhabitants. It is thought that over 20 million Muslims a year make the pilgrimage to Mashhad.


Mashhad is Iran''s second largest automobile production hub in Iran.The city’s economy is mainly on Dry fruits, an assortment of salted nuts, saffron, Iranian sweets like Gez and Sohaan, precious stones like agates, turquoise, intricately designed silver jewelry studded with rubies and emeralds, eighteen carat gold jewelry, perfumes, religious souvenirs, trench coats, scarves, termeh, carpets and rugs.

Among the major industries in the city there is nutrition industries, clothing, leather, textiles, chemicals, steel and non-metallic mineral industries, construction materials factories, handicraft industry and metal industries.

With more than 55% of hotels in Iran, Mashhad is the hub of tourism in Iran

In the geography of tourism, religious places known as the most powerful hub to attract travelers around the world, every year 20 to 30 millions of pilgrims from Iran and more than 2 millions pilgrims and tourists from around the world come to Mashhad.

Mashhad is one of the main producers of leather products in region.

city''s International exhibition center is the second most active exhibition center after Tehran. Which due to proximity to Central Asian countries hosts dozens of international exhibitions each year.

What is more, corporations such as Smart-innovators in Mashhad, are pioneers in electrical and computer technology.


The language mainly spoken in Mashhad is Persian Mashhadi accent .

CultureRelief in Tous depicting popular stories of Persian mythology, from the book of Shahnameh of Ferdowsi.Tomb of Ferdowsi in Tous.

Long a center of secular and religious learning, Mashhad has been a center for the arts and for the sciences. The Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, named after the great Iranian poet, is located here. The Madrassa of Ayatollah Al-Khoei, originally built in the seventeenth century and recently replaced with modern facilities, is the city''s foremost traditional centre for religious learning. The Razavi University of Islamic Sciences, founded in 1984, stands at the centre of town, within the shrine complex. The prestige of traditional religious education at Mashhad attracts students, known as Talabeh, or "Mollah" internationally.

Mashhad is also home to one of the oldest libraries of the Middle-East called the Central Library of Astan-e Quds Razavi with a history of over six centuries. The Astan-e Quds Razavi Museum, which is part of the Astan-e Quds Razavi Complex, is home to over 70,000 rare manuscripts from various historical eras. There are some six million historical documents in the foundation''s central library.

In 1569 (977 H), ''Imad al-Din Mas''ud Shirazi, a physician at the Mashhad hospital, wrote the earliest Islamic treatise on syphilis, one influenced by European medical thought. Kashmar rug is a type of Persian rug indigenous to this region.

Mashhad active galleries include: Mirak Gallery, Parse Gallery, Rezvan Gallery, Soroush Gallery, and the Narvan Gallery.

Main sitesTous Museum

Apart from Imam Reza shrine there is a number of large parks, the tombs of historical celebrities in nearby Tus and Nishapur, the tomb of Nadir Shah and Kooh Sangi park. The Koohestan Park-e-Shadi Complex includes a zoo, where many wild animals are kept and which attracts many visitors to Mashhad. It is also home to the Mashhad Airbase (formerly Imam Reza airbase), jointly a military installation housing Mirage aircraft, and a civilian international airport.

Some points of interest lie outside the city: the tomb of Khajeh Morad, along the road to Tehran; the tomb of Khajeh Rabi'' located 6 kilometers north of the city where there are some inscriptions by the renowned Safavid calligrapher Reza Abbasi; and the tomb of Khajeh Abasalt, a distance of 20 kilometers from Mashhad along the road to Neishabur. (The three were all disciples of Imam Reza).

Among the other sights are the tomb of the poet Ferdowsi in Tus, 24 kilometers distance, and the summer resorts at Torghabeh, Torogh, Akhlamad, Zoshk, and Shandiz.

The Shah Public Bath, built during the Safavid era in 1648, is an outstanding example of the architecture of that period. It was recently restored, and is to be turned into a museum.


  • Imam Reza Shrine

  • Proma Hypermarket

  • Kian Center

  • Mashhad is the major trade center of saffron in Iran.

  • Many beautiful handicraft products are sold in Shandiz and Torghabeh.

  • Some Iranian Handicrafts (metalwork) in Torghabeh

  • Front facade of the Ferdowsi''s mausoleum in Tous

  • Haruniyeh Dome in Tous

  • Malek''s House in Mashhad

  • St. Mesrop Armenian church in Mashhad

  • Nader Shah Museum in Mashhad

  • Tous Museum near Mashhad

  • Shandiz a tourist town near Mashhad

  • Imam Reza Hospital (formerly Shah Reza Hospital)

  • Homa Hotel

  • Mashhad''s countryside

TransportationMashhad Urban Railway (Line 1)Airport

Mashhad is served by the Mashhad International Airport which handles domestic flights to Iranian cities and international flights, mostly to neighboring, Arab countries.The airport is the country''s second busiest only to Tehran Mehrabad Airport and above the famous Tehran''s Imam Khomeini International Airport.

Metro Main article: Mashhad Light Rail

The Mashhad Urban Railway Corporation (MURCO) is constructing a metro system for the city of Mashhad which includes four lines with 77 km length . The first phase (line) of the metro has been exploited in 21 Feb 2011 with 19 km length and 22 stations and will be connected to Mashhad International Airport. The second line with 14 km length and 12 stations is under construction and is projected to be finished by 2014.


Mashhad is connected to three major rail lines: Tehran-Mashhad, Mashhad-Bafgh (running south), and Mashhad-Sarakhs at the border with Turkmenistan. Some freight trains continue from Sarakhs towards Uzbekistan and to Kazakhstan, but have to change bogies because of the difference in Rail gauge. A rail line is being constructed off the Mashhad-Bafgh line to connect Mashhad to Herat in Afghanistan, but has not yet been completed and one is planned to connect to the Gorgan railhead and the port of Bandar Torkaman on the Caspian Sea to the west. Passenger rail services are provided by Raja Passenger Trains Company and all trains are operated by R.A.I., Rah-Ahan (Railway) of Iran, the national railway company.

Colleges and universities


  • Ferdowsi University of Mashhad (FUM)
  • Mashhad University of Medical Sciences
  • Islamic Azad University of Mashhad
  • Mashhad Technical Institute (Shahid Mohammad Montazeri)
  • Payame Noor University of Mashhad
  • Khorasan Institute of Higher Education
  • Sadjad Institute of Higher Education
  • Khayyam Higher Education Inistitute (KHEI)
  • Imam Reza International University
  • Razavi University of Islamic Sciences
  • Sport Sciences Research Institute of Iran


  • Salman Institute of Higher Education
  • Iranian Academic Center for Education, Culture and Research, Mashhad Branch (Jahad Daneshgahi of Mashhad)
  • Khavaran Institute of Higher Education
  • Toos Institute of Higher Education
  • Shahid Beheshti Teacher Training College
  • Shahid Khorshidi Teacher training College
  • Asrar Institute of Higher Education
  • Samen Institute of Higher Education
  • Khayyam Institute of Higher Education
  • Alzahra Girls Technical College of Mashhad
  • Bahar Institute of Higher Education
  • Binalood Institute of Higher Education
  • Eqbal Lahoori Institute of Higher Education
  • Institute of Applied and Practical Sciences, Khorasan Razavi

Shandiz Institute of Higher Education

Major sport teams Club League Sport Venue Established Championships Padideh F.C. Mizan Khorasan VC Farsh Ara Mashhad FSC Ferdosi Mashhad FSC Rahahan Khorasan W.C.
Iran Pro League Football Samen Stadium and Takhti Stadium (Mashhad) 2012 0
Iranian Volleyball Super League Volleyball Shahid Beheshti Sport Complex 2010 0
Iranian Futsal Super League Futsal Shahid Beheshti Sport Complex 1994
Iranian Futsal Super League Futsal Shahid Beheshti Sport Complex 2011
Iranian Premier Wrestling League Freestyle wrestling Mohammad Ali Sahraei Hall
Mashhad as capital of Persia and Independent Khorasan

The following Shahanshahs had Mashhad as their capital:

  • Kianid Dynasty
  • Malek Mahmoud Sistani 1722–1726
  • Afsharid dynasty
  • Nadir Shah
  • Adil Shah
  • Ebrahim Afshar
  • Shah Rukh of Persia
  • Nadir Mirza of Khorasan
  • Safavid Dynasty
  • Soleyman II
  • Autonomous Government of Khorasan
  • Colonel Mohammad Taghi Khan Pessyan
Famous people from Mashhad and Tus See also: Category:People from MashhadReligious and political figures
  • Shaykh Tusi, 385–460 A.H.; prominent Persian scholar of the Shi''a Twelver Islamic belief
  • Nasir al-Din al-Tusi, born February 1201 in Tūs, Khorasan – 26 June 1274 in al-Kāżimiyyah near Baghdad; Persian of the Ismaili and subsequently Twelver Shī‘ah Islamic belief
  • Seyyed Ali Khamenei, born 17 July 1939; former president and current supreme leader of Iran
  • Sheikh Ali Tehrani, brother-in-law of Seyyed Ali Khamenei, currently living in Iran. He is one of the oppositions of current Iranian government.
  • Nizam al-Mulk, 1018 – 14 October 1092; celebrated Persian scholar and vizier of the Seljuq Empire
  • Al-Hurr al-Aamili, Shia scholar and muhaddith
  • Al-Ghazali, 1058–1111; Islamic theologian, jurist, philosopher, cosmologist, psychologist and mystic of Persian origin
  • Timur Shah Durrani, Emir of Afghanistan 1772-1793
  • Ali al-Sistani, born approximately August 4, 1930; Twelver Shi''a marja residing in Iraq since 1951
  • Mohammad-Kazem Khorasani, 1839–1911; Twelver Shi''a Marja, Persian (Iranian) politician, philosopher, reformer
  • Hossein Vahid Khorasani, born in 1924; Iranian Twelver Shi''a Marja
  • Mohammad-Ali Abtahi, born January 27, 1958; former Vice President of Iran and a close associate of former reformist President Mohammad Khatami
  • Abu Muslim Khorasani, c. 700–755; Abu Muslim Abd al-Rahman ibn Muslim al-Khorasani, Abbasid general of Persian origin
  • Manouchehr Eghbal, October 14, 1909 – November 25, 1977, a Prime Minister of Iran
  • Shah Rukh (Timurid dynasty), August 20, 1377 – March 12, 1447; ruler of the eastern portion of the empire established by the Central Asian warlord Timur (Tamerlane)
  • Goharshad, Persian noble and wife of Shāh Rukh, the emperor of the Timurid Dynasty of Herāt
  • Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, born August 23, 1961 in Torghabeh, near Mashhad; the current Mayor of Tehran, Iran
  • Hassan Rahimpour Azghadi, Conservative political strategist and popular television personality in the Islamic Republic of Iran
  • Hadi Khamenei, b. 1947; mid-ranking cleric who is a member of the reformist Association of Combatant Clerics
  • Seyed Hassan Firuzabadi, current major general, Islamic Republic of Iran
  • Saeed Jalili, born 1965 in Mashhad; Iranian politician and the present secretary of Iran''s Supreme National Security Council
Writers and scientists
  • Arion Golmakani, آریان گلمکانی An American author of Iranian origin. َHis award wining memoir Solacers details his childhood in Mashhad.
  • Ferdowsi, 935–1020 in Tus; a Persian poet
  • Abu-Mansur Daqiqi, 935/942–976/980
  • Abolfazl Beyhaqi, 995–1077; a Persian historian and author
  • Abusa''id Abolkhayr, December 7, 967 – January 12, 1049 / Muharram ul Haram 1, 357 – Sha''aban 4, 440 AH; famous Persian Sufi who contributed extensively to the evolution of Sufi tradition
  • Anvari, 1126–1189, one of the greatest Persian poets
  • Mehdi Akhavan-Sales, 1928, Mashhad, Iran – 1990, Tehran, Iran; a Persian poet
  • Mohammad-Taghi Bahar, November 6, 1884, Mashhad, Iran – April 22, 1951; Tehran, Iran
  • Asadi Tusi, born in Tus, Iranian province of Khorasan, died 1072 Tabriz, Iran; Persian poet of Iranian national epics
  • Mohammad Mokhtari (writer), Iranian writer who was murdered on the outskirts of Tehran in the course of the Chain Murders of Iran.
  • Abū Ja''far al-Khāzin, 900–971; Persian astronomer and mathematician from Khorasan
  • Abū al-Wafā'' Būzjānī, 10 June 940 – 1 July 998; Persian mathematician and astronomer
  • Sharaf al-Dīn al-Ṭūsī, 1135–1213; Persian mathematician and astronomer of the Islamic Golden Age (during the Middle Ages)
  • Jābir ibn Hayyān, c. 721 in Tus–c. 815 in Kufa; prominent polymath: a chemist and alchemist, astronomer and astrologer, engineer, geologist, philosopher, physicist, and pharmacist and physician
  • Mohammad-Reza Shajarian, born September 23, 1940 in Mashhad, Iran; internationally and critically acclaimed Persian traditional singer, composer and Master (Ostad) of Persian music
  • Homayoun Shajarian, Mohammad-Reza Shajarian''s son, born May 21, 1975; renowned Persian classical music vocalist, as well as a Tombak and Kamancheh player
  • Hamid Motebassem, born 1958 in Mashhad, Iranian musician and tar and setar player
  • Noureddin Zarrinkelk, born 1937 in Mashhad, Iran; renowned Iranian animator, concept artist, editor, graphic designer, illustrator, layout artist, photographer, script writer and sculptor
  • Dariush Arjmand, Iranian actor
  • Reza Kianian, born July 17, 1951 in Mashhad, Iran, Iranian actor
  • Reza Attaran, born 31 March 1968 in Mashhad; Iranian actor and director
  • Hamed Behdad, born 17 November 1973 in Mashhad, Iran; Iranian actor
  • Marshall Manesh, born 16 August 1950 in Mashhad; Iranian-American actor
  • Navid Negahban, born 2 June 1968 in Mashhad; Iranian-American actor
  • Mahdi Bemani Naeini, born November 3, 1968; Iranian film director, cinematographer, TV cameraman and photographer
  • Rafi Pitts, born 1967 in Mashhad, Iran; internationally acclaimed Iranian film director
  • Javad Jalali, born 30 May 1977 in Mashhad, Iranian Photographer and Cinematographer
  • Iran Darroudi, born September 2, 1936 in Mashhad; Iranian artist
  • Mohsen Namjoo, born 1976 in Torbat-e-Jaam; Iranian singer-songwriter, author, musician, and setar player
  • Mitra Hajjar, born February 4, 1977; Iranian actress
  • Ovanes Ohanian, ?–1961 Tehran; Armenian-Iranian filmmaker who established the first film school in Iran
  • Abū al-Wafā'' al-Būzjānī, 10 June 940 – 1 July 998; Persian mathematician and astronomer
  • Anousheh Ansari, born 12 September 1966; the Iranian-American co-founder and chairman of Prodea Systems, Inc and a spaceflight participant with the Russian space program
Sports figures
  • Heshmat Mohajerani, born January, 1936 in Mashhad, Iran; Iranian football coach, manager, and former player
  • Khodadad Azizi, born June 22, 1971 in Mashhad, Iran; retired professional football striker
  • Alireza Vahedi Nikbakht, born June 30, 1980 in Mashhad; Iranian professional football player
  • Hossein Badamaki, Iranian professional football player
  • Mohammad Mansouri, Iranian professional football player
  • Reza Enayati, Iranian professional football player
  • Reza Ghoochannejhad, Iranian-Dutch professional football player
  • Kia Zolgharnain, Iranian-American former Futsaler/Indoor soccer player
  • Mohsen Ghahramani, Iranian football referee
  • Mohsen Torki, Iranian football referee
  • Hasan Kamranifar, Iranian football referee
  • Hossein Sokhandan, Iranian football referee
  • Amir Reza Khadem, born February 10, 1970 in Mashhad, wrestler
  • Rasoul Khadem, born February 17, 1972 in Mashhad, wrestler
  • Mohammad Khadem, wrestler
  • Amir Tavakkolian, wrestler
  • Majid Khodaei, wrestler
  • Ali Baghbanbashi, athlete
  • Abbas Golmakani, World''s wrestling champion during the 1950s
  • Hamed Afagh, basketballer
  • Masoud Haji Akhondzadeh, judoka
  • Javad Mahjoub, judoka
  • Amir Ghaseminejad, judoka
  • Hamid Reza Mobarez, swimmer
  • Ali Akbar Fayyaz, a renowned historian of early Islam and literary critic, founder of the School of Letters and Humanities at the Ferdowsi University of Mashhad
  • Mahmoud Khayami, born 1930 in Mashhad, Iran; Iranian born industrialist and philanthropist, of French nationality
  • Hossein Sabet, Iranian businessman and Persian carpet dealer who owns Sabet International Trading Co.
  • Hesam Kolahan, World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
Sister cities ConsulatesAfghan Consul General met with the Mayor of MashhadActive
  •  Afghanistan (1921- )
  •  Iraq (2007- )
  •  Kyrgyzstan (1996- )
  •  Pakistan (1975- )
  •  Saudi Arabia (2004- )
  •  Tajikistan (Visa Interests Office: 1995-2010, Consulate-General: 2010- )
  •  Turkmenistan (1995- )

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