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**Etymology and Historical Background:**
– The term ‘Iran’ derives from Middle Persian Ērān, first attested in a third-century inscription.
– Iran has been historically referred to as Persia by the West.
– Ancient Iranian peoples arrived in Iran from the Eurasian Steppe.
– Elamites were the first civilization in ancient Iran in the fourth millennium BC.
– Median Empire was founded in 625 BC by unifying Median tribes.
– Cyrus the Great founded the Achaemenid Empire in 550 BC, which became the largest empire at that time.
– Sasanian Empire existed from 224 to 651 AD.
– Arab invasion in the seventh century led to state-imposed Islamization in Iran.
– Various Iranian dynasties rose after two centuries of Arab rule.
– The Islamic Golden Age in Iran peaked in the 10th and 11th centuries.

**Geography and Demographics:**
– Iran is bordered by Iraq, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Armenia, the Caspian Sea, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Gulf of Oman, and the Persian Gulf.
– Iran ranks 17th in the world in both geographic size and population.
– The country is divided into five regions with 31 provinces.
– Tehran is the capital and most populous city, with around 16 million people in its metropolitan area.
– Iran is home to a multicultural population comprising a wide variety of ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups.

**Government and Political History:**
– Iran is officially governed as an Islamic Republic with a presidential system.
– Ultimate authority is vested in a theocratic supreme leader, currently Ali Khamenei.
– The Iranian government is authoritarian and has attracted widespread criticism for human rights violations.
– The monarchy was overthrown in 1979, establishing the Islamic Republic of Iran.
– Ruhollah Khomeini became the country’s first supreme leader.

**Cultural Heritage and Achievements:**
– Iran is home to 27 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
– Iran ranks 5th globally in the number of inscriptions of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
– Iran is a major center of Islamic culture and learning.
– Iranian culture, language, and customs have spread across the Muslim world.
– The Achaemenid Empire is noted for releasing Jewish exiles and building infrastructures.
– The Sasanian Empire influenced ancient Rome, Africa, China, and India.

**Empires and Dynasties in Iran:**
– Safavid Empire was founded in the 1500s by Ismail I, converting Iran from Sunni to Shia Islam.
– Nader Shah expanded Iranian territory to its greatest extent since the Sasanian Empire.
– Zand dynasty saw prosperity and peace under Karim Khan.
– Qajar Empire was founded by Agha Mohammad Khan, who centralized and unified Iran.
– Persian Constitutional Revolution in the early 20th century led to the establishment of the first national Iranian Parliament.

Iran (Wikipedia)

Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI), also known by its Western-given name Persia, is a country in West Asia. It is bordered by Turkey to the northwest and Iraq to the west, Azerbaijan, Armenia, the Caspian Sea and Turkmenistan to the north, Afghanistan to the east, Pakistan to the southeast, the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf to the south. With a mostly Persian-ethnic population of almost 90 million in an area of 1,648,195 km2 (636,372 sq mi), Iran ranks 17th globally in both geographic size and population. It is the sixth-largest country entirely in Asia, the second-largest in West Asia, and one of the world's most mountainous countries. Officially an Islamic republic, Iran has a Muslim-majority population. The country is divided into five regions with 31 provinces. The nation's capital and most populous city is Tehran, with around 16.8 million people in its metropolitan area. Other major cities include Mashhad, Isfahan, Karaj, and Shiraz.

Islamic Republic of Iran
جمهوری اسلامی ایران (Persian)
Jomhuri-ye Eslâmi-ye Irân
Motto: استقلال، آزادی، جمهوری اسلامی
Esteqlâl, Âzâdi, Jomhuri-ye Eslâmi
"Independence, freedom, the Islamic Republic"
(de facto)
Anthem: سرود ملی جمهوری اسلامی ایران
Sorud-e Melli-ye Jomhuri-ye Eslâmi-ye Irân
"National Anthem of the Islamic Republic of Iran"
and largest city
35°41′N 51°25′E / 35.683°N 51.417°E / 35.683; 51.417
Official languagesPersian
Recognised regional languages
National languagePersian
Ethnic groups
(2003 estimate)
GovernmentUnitary presidential theocratic Islamic republic
Ali Khamenei
• President
Mohammad Mokhber (acting)
Mohammad Mokhber
Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf
Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Eje'i
Ahmad Jannati
LegislatureIslamic Consultative Assembly
Establishment history
c. 678 BC
550 BC
247 BC
224 AD
15 December 1925
11 February 1979
3 December 1979
28 July 1989
• Total
1,648,195 km2 (636,372 sq mi) (17th)
• Water (%)
1.63 (as of 2015)
• 2024 estimate
Neutral increase 89,745,530 (17th)
• Density
55/km2 (142.4/sq mi) (132nd)
GDP (PPP)2024 estimate
• Total
Increase $1.855 trillion (19th)
• Per capita
Increase $21,220 (78th)
GDP (nominal)2024 estimate
• Total
Increase $464,181 billion (34th)
• Per capita
Increase $5,310 (113th)
Gini (2019)40.9
HDI (2022)Increase 0.780
high (78th)
CurrencyIranian rial (ریال) (IRR)
Time zoneUTC+3:30 (IRST)
Date formatyyyy/mm/dd (SH)
Driving sideright
Calling code+98
ISO 3166 codeIR
Internet TLD

Iran has one of the longest histories of any country, beginning with the Elamites in the fourth millennium BC. Considered a cradle of civilization, it was first unified as a state by the Median ruler Deioces in the seventh century BC and reached its territorial height in the sixth century BC, when Cyrus the Great founded the Achaemenid Empire, one of the largests in ancient history. Alexander the Great conquered the empire in the fourth century BC, subsequently dividing Iran into several Hellenistic states. An Iranian rebellion established the Parthian Empire in the third century BC and liberated the country, which was succeeded by the Sasanian Empire the third century AD. Ancient Iran saw some of the earliest developments of writing, agriculture, urbanisation, religion and central government. Muslims conquered the region in the seventh century AD, leading to Iran's Islamization. The blossoming literature, philosophy, mathematics, medicine, astronomy and art became major elements for Iranian civilization during the Islamic Golden Age. A series of native Iranian Muslim dynasties ended the Arab rule over Iran, revived the Persian language and ruled the country until the Seljuk and Mongol conquests of the 11th to 14th centuries. In the 16th century, the native Safavids re-established a unified Iranian state with Twelver Shia Islam as the official religion, marking the beginning of modern Iranian history.

During the Afsharid Empire in the 18th century, Iran was a leading world power, though by the 19th century, it had lost significant territory through a series of conflicts with the Russian Empire. The early 20th century saw the Persian Constitutional Revolution and the establishment of the Pahlavi dynasty. Attempts by Mohammad Mosaddegh to nationalize the country's vast fossil fuel supply led to an Anglo-American coup in 1953. After the Iranian Revolution, the monarchy was overthrown in 1979 and the Islamic Republic of Iran was established by The Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who became the country's first Supreme Leader. The forces of Saddam Hussein invaded in 1980, initiating the 8-year-long Iran-Iraq War. Iran is officially governed as an Islamic Republic with a Presidential system, with ultimate authority vested in a Supreme Leader, currently Ali Khamenei since Khomeini's death in 1989. The Iranian government is authoritarian and has attracted widespread criticism for its significant violations of human rights and civil liberties.

Iran is a major regional power, due to its large reserves of fossil fuels, including the world's second largest natural gas supply, third largest proven oil reserves, its geopolitically significant location, its military capabilities, its regional influence, and its role as the world's focal point of Shia Islam. The Iranian economy is the world's 19th-largest by PPP. Iran is an active and founding member of the United Nations, the NAM, the ECO, the OIC and the OPEC. It is a full member of both the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and BRICS. Owing it to its long history and rich cultural legacy, Iran is home to 27 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the 10th highest number in the world, and ranks 5th globally in the number of inscriptions of Intangible Cultural Heritage, or human treasures. Iran was the world's third fastest-growing tourism destination in 2019.

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