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(Persian), in the common law of Iran, the right of sanctuary (inviolability) in sacred and inviolable places. The custom of offering sanctuary in the most revered religious places (temples, mosques, tombs, and so forth) is widespread in the Islamic countries of the East. Beginning in the 19th century, best was sometimes extended to foreign embassies, missions, and other institutions enjoying extraterritoriality.
People often had recourse to best as a sign of protest against the tyranny and oppression of the authorities. In such cases best assumed the character of mass political demonstrations accompanied by the closing of bazaars, stores, and workshops by their owners. Best was widely used during the Iranian Revolution of 1905–1911.