Iran

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Islamic Republic of Iran
جمهوری اسلامی ایران
Jomhuri-ye Eslāmi-ye Irān
Flag Emblem
Motto: استقلال. آزادی. جمهوری اسلامی
Independence, Freedom, Islamic Republic
Anthem: 
National Anthem of Islamic Republic of Iran  (official)
Ey Iran  (De facto)
(Persian: Oh Iran)
Capital
and largest city
Tehran
35°41′N 51°25′E / 35.683°N 51.417°E / 35.683; 51.417
Official languages Persian
Spoken languages Persian, Azeri, Assyrian Neo-Aramaic, Armenian, Kurdish, Lori, Balochi, Gilaki, Mazandarani, Arabic, Turkmen
Demonym Iranian
Government Unitary state, Islamic republic
 -  Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei
 -  President Hassan Rouhani
 -  First Vice President Mohammad-Reza Rahimi
 -  Speaker of the Parliament Ali Larijani
 -  Chief Justice Sadeq Larijani
Legislature Islamic Consultative Assembly
Unification[1]
 -  Median Empire 625 BC 
 -  Safavid Empire 1501[2] 
 -  Islamic Republic 1 April 1979 
 -  Current constitution 24 October 1979 
Area
 -  Total 1,648,195 km2 (18th)
636,372 sq mi 
 -  Water (%) 0.7
Population
 -  2011 estimate 75,330,000 [3] (17th)
 -  2010 census 74,700,000
 -  Density 45/km2 (163rd)
116.6/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2010 estimate
 -  Total $863.5 billion[4]
 -  Per capita $10,864[5]
GDP (nominal) 2010 estimate
 -  Total $357.221 billion[5]
 -  Per capita $4,740[5]
Gini (2008) 38[6]
medium
HDI (2010) Increase 0.702[7]
medium · 70th
Currency Rial (﷼) (IRR)
Time zone IRST (UTC03:30)
 -  Summer (DST) Iran Daylight Time (IRDT) (UTC04:30)
Drives on the right
Calling code 98
Internet TLD .ir, ایران.
1. Bookrags.com
2. Iranchamber.com
3. Statistical Center of Iran. "جمعيت و متوسط رشد سالانه" (in Persian). http://pe.icro.ir/files/pdf/amar/c01.pdf. Retrieved 31 January 2012.
4. CIA Factbook

Iran (Persian: ايران), once known as Persia, is a country in South-central Asia part of the Middle East region. It shares borders with Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Pakistan, Turkey, and Turkmenistan.

Tehran is the capital and its biggest city. Iran is the 18th largest country in the world and has more than 70 million people. Iran is a member of UN (since 1945) and OPEC.[8] It is one of four countries that are Islamic republics, because Islam is the state religion.

History[change | edit source]

In the past, Iran was called "Persia" by people outside of the country. The people that lived there called the country "Iran". The official name was Persia. This meant that the name Persia was used when dealing with other countries and in government papers. In 1935, Reza Shāh Pahlavi, then shāh of Iran, officially renamed the country "Iran". This was done to show that Iran belongs to all the non-Persian Iranians as well as to Persian Iranians. The name Iran means the land of Aryans. It is also mentioned in the ancient book of the Zoroastrians, the Avesta. In the 19th and early 20th century, the name Aryan was used by Europeans to mean all Indo-Europeans. The "Aryan Race" was a term that Hitler used to describe his "Superior" or "perfect" race, but it first meant Iranians.[9]

Persian Empire[change | edit source]

Around 500 BC, present-day Iran was the center of the Persian Empire. The Greek city states fought against the Persian armies led by Darius the Great and Xerxes. Then, Alexander the Great took the country by fighting the Achaemenid dynasty of Persia and then later ruled. After them the Sassanian dynasty (224-651) took over. Other people took Persia by fighting, like the Arabs (7th century), Turks (10th century) and Mongols (13th century). However, Iran has always maintained a distinct culture and continued to survive.

New Iran[change | edit source]

The CIA worked in Iran to create riots which led to the removal of Prime Minister Mossadegh. The United States and Great Britain then made the Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi King of Iran, again. He ruled in Iran for less than a year when he left Iran and the Iranian government was changed to an Islamic Republic by Islamic Revolution. Soon afterwards, Iranian Students Movement (Tahkim Vahdat), with the backing of the new government took over the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and held most of the diplomats hostage for 444 days. Relations between the two countries have not been good since. For example. The US has imposed various types of economic sanctions against Iran. The US claims the Iran supports terrorist groups against Israel. Iran does not recognize Israel as a state. Iran, along with most Arab countries believe that Israel does not have the right to occupy the land of Palestinians.

Iran has long borders in common with Iraq. (The words "Iran" and "Iraq" are similar only in Latin alphabet. In Arabic and Persian, they are written differently.) This war changed politics in the Middle East and world wide. Iranians are ethnically not Arabs. Iran defended itself against Iraqi invasion in 1980, a war that lasted eight years. Many Arab and Western countries, including the United States, provided weapons (including biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction) and technical support for Iraq's Saddam Hussein.

Now, the West is trying to prevent Iran from mastering nuclear technology, even though Iran is a member of the NPT. They voice their concern claiming that Iran's intention is to develop nuclear weapons. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has reported numerous times that there is no evidence that Iran is developing nuclear weapons, however, it also says that it can not say for sure that Iran is not doing so in secret. A CIA report on nuclear activity in Iran, in December 2007 claimed that Iran's secret program to achieve nuclear weapons technology was stopped in 2003, and that since then, it was never restarted. It reports that Iran's ability to build a nuclear weapon will probably not happen soon.

Economy[change | edit source]

Iran has oil. It is a member of OPEC and oil is one of its main exports. Rice, handicrafts, carpets and crocus are important local products.

Rial is the money used in Iran.

Religion in Iran[change | edit source]

About 98% of Iranian people are Muslim. The state religion is Shia Islam. It has been the state religion since the Safavid dynasty in the 16th century.[10] This is the religion of about 90% of Iranians.[11] They belong to the Twelver branch. About 8% of Iranians belong to the Sunni branch of Islam. The 2% of Iranians who are not Muslim are Bahá'ís, Mandeans, Zoroastrians, Christians and Jews.[11]

Regions and provinces[change | edit source]

Related pages[change | edit source]

References[change | edit source]

  1. Encyclopædia Britannica. "Encyclopædia Britannica Encyclopedia Article: Media ancient region, Iran". Britannica.com. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/372125/Media. Retrieved 25 August 2010.
  2. Andrew J. Newman, Safavid Iran: Rebirth of a Persian Empire, I. B. Tauris (30 March 2006)
  3. "Official Iranian Population clock". Amar.org.ir. http://www.amar.org.ir/default.aspx?tabid=52. Retrieved 2011-06-17.
  4. "Iran Economy 2011, CIA World Factbook". Theodora.com. http://www.theodora.com/wfbcurrent/iran/iran_economy.html. Retrieved 2011-09-14.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "Iran". International Monetary Fund. http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2011/01/weodata/weorept.aspx?sy=2008&ey=2011&scsm=1&ssd=1&sort=country&ds=.&br=1&c=429&s=NGDPD%2CNGDPDPC%2CPPPGDP%2CPPPPC%2CLP&grp=0&a=&pr.x=39&pr.y=7. Retrieved 2011-04-21.
  6. "Central Bank of Iran: Economic Trends 2008/2009". http://www.cbi.ir/page/5881.aspx. Retrieved 2011-06-18.
  7. "Human Development Report 2010". United Nations. 2010. http://hdr.undp.org/en/media/HDR_2010_EN_Table1.pdf. Retrieved 5 November 2010.
  8. http://www.un.org/en/members/index.shtml
  9. Norton, 2002
  10. Mark W. Janis, Carolyn Maree Evans (1999). Religion and International Law. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. p. 381. ISBN 9789041111746. http://books.google.com.au/books?id=8CxMFjU12OUC&pg=PA381.
  11. 11.0 11.1 U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (2008-04-15). "CIA - The World Factbook -- Iran". U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ir.html. Retrieved 2008-04-18.

More reading[change | edit source]