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[[File:Iranflag.jpg|200px|thumb|left|Hitching under the flag of the Islamic Republic of Iran]]
Hitchhiking is done in Iran by waving one's arm at an oncoming car, or by dribbling one of your hands. Do
<b>not </b> gesture with your thumb up as in the West, because this is an obscene gesture in Persian culture.<br/><b>NOTE:</b ><br/>In 2017 I hitched with the thumb, because several iranian hitchers told me to do so, they were doing the same. Also I noticed many times that locals gave me the thumb as a positive gesture, for example when taking selfies.
Waiting for a ride can be a frustrating experience sometimes, but it is generally relatively easy to hitchhike here. Frustration comes when there is a driver stopping for you every few minutes and suggesting taking you to a bus terminal, and sometimes you may find it hard to explain that you travel at low budget and that you actually '''want''' to hitchhike.
In Farsi language (official language in Iran spoken as a first or second language by most citizens) the word "hitchhiking" doesn't exist. The translation of this word found in English-Farsi dictionaries seem to have a confusing effect on locals of Iran since they hear it for the first time in their lives. Though some people (especially couchsurfers or young Tehranians) know about it, call it "autostop" or English "hitchhiking". The Farsi ''majani savar shodan'' seems to be the closest (means driving for free) and it is the literal translation of the dictionary though doesn't seem very widely understood also because "savar shodan" means take a lift and most often refer to shared taxis (savari) so that it may sound as "taking a shared taxi for free" (fact that can actually happen kind of often though is not very fair and respectful for the other passengers who however most probably will smile and welcome you).
A very easy way to hitch a lift and make cheater run away is clarify since the beginning that you are not going to pay anything asking before entering the car "bee doona pool?" (without money?) asking for confirm several times in case the driver doesn't seem nice "mutmaeen? sad dar sad?" (are you sure? 100%?) otherwise you can also use the magic word ''salavaati'' which works quite good. (this word has originally a religious background from the war time between Iran and Iraq. some people would do some favours for soldiers and asking them for ''salavaat'' which is kind of good pray instead of money.) as soon as you say this word, everyone understand what exactly you mean. (and nobody expect you to really pray.)
Useful phrases are: