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{{redirect|Persia}}{{about|the modern nation}}{{pp-semi|small=yes}}{{short description|A country in Western Asia}}{{Use dmy dates|date=March 2017}}{{Use American English|date=February 2017}}{{coord|32|N|53|E|dim:1000km_type:country_region:IR|format=dms|display=title}}

}}{{transl>fa|Jomhuri-ye Eslāmi-ye Irān}}| image_flag = Flag of Iran.svg| image_coat = Emblem of Iran.svg| symbol_type = Emblem{{translEsteqlāl, Āzādi, Jomhuri-ye Eslāmi}}}}{{translSorud-e Melli-ye Jomhuri-ye Eslāmi-ye Irān}}}}{{nowrapcenter)| image_map = Iran (orthographic projection).svg| capital = Tehran35N25type:city}}| largest_city = capitalPersian language>Persian| regional_languages = {{Collapsible list| titlestyle = background:transparent;text-align:left;font-weight:normal;font-size:100%; 53% Persian language > 18% Azerbaijani language and other Turkic languages>Turkic dialects {{midsizeQashqai language>Qashqai, Turkmen language)}} > 10% Kurdish language > 7% Gilaki language and Mazanderani language>Mazanderani Luri Language>Lurish Balochi language>Balochi Arabic > 2% other {{midsizeArmenian language>Armenian, Assyrian Neo-Aramaic, Georgian language>Georgian, Laki language, Semnani languages>Semnani, Talysh language, Tati language (Iran)>Tati)}}HTTPS://WWW.CIA.GOV/LIBRARY/PUBLICATIONS/THE-WORLD-FACTBOOK/GEOS/IR.HTML >TITLE=THE WORLD FACTBOOK – IRAN URL-STATUS=DEAD ARCHIVEDATE=3 FEBRUARY 2012, dmy, }}| ethnic_groups = {{Collapsible list| titlestyle = background:transparent;text-align:left;font-weight:normal;font-size:100%; 61% Persian people > 16% Azerbaijanis > 10% Kurds > 6% Lurs {{midsize>(incl. Bakhtiari people)}} > 2% Turkmens and other Turkic tribes">List of ethnic groups known as "Iranian Turks">other Turkic tribes Baloch people>Baloch Iranian Arabs>Arab | 1% other}}State religion:}}Islam {{midsizeTwelver>Twelver Shia)}}{{smallIslam {{midsize>(Hanafi, Shafi'i, Maliki, Hanbali, Zaidiyyah)}},Christianity {{midsize>(Armenian Apostolic Church, Assyrian Church of the East>Assyrian, Chaldean)}},Judaism,Zoroastrianism| demonym = Iranian,Persian (historically)de jure:}}Unitary state Political thought and legacy of Ruhollah Khomeini>Khomeinist Presidential system Islamic republic#Iran>Islamic republic{{smallde facto:}}Unitary state>Unitary Theocracy#Iran-republican Authoritarianism>authoritarianVATANKA >FIRST1=ALEX URL=HTTP://WWW.MEI.EDU/CONTENT/ARTICLE/AUTHORITARIAN-RESURGENCE-IRAN-ABROAD WORK=MIDDLE EAST INSTITUTE LANGUAGE=EN, FISHER >FIRST1=MAX URL=HTTPS://WWW.NYTIMES.COM/2017/05/17/WORLD/MIDDLEEAST/IRAN-PRESIDENTIAL-ELECTION-DEMOCRACY.HTML WORK=THE NEW YORK TIMES LANGUAGE=EN, THE BIG FIVE COUNTRIES – IRAN >URL=HTTPS://WWW.RESURGENTDICTATORSHIP.ORG/THE-BIG-FIVE-COUNTRIES/IRAN/ ACCESSDATE=17 OCTOBER 2018, Presidential system subject to a Supreme Leader of Iran>Supreme LeaderBUCHTA >FIRST1=WILFRIED URL=HTTP://ILSP.LAW.HARVARD.EDU/WP-CONTENT/UPLOADS/2014/08/BUCHTA.PDF PUBLISHER=HARVARD LAW SCHOOL QUOTE=[...] THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC'S POLITICAL SYSTEM, A THEOCRATIC-REPUBLICAN HYBRID [...] ARCHIVEURL=HTTPS://WEB.ARCHIVE.ORG/WEB/20150908175422/HTTP://ILSP.LAW.HARVARD.EDU/WP-CONTENT/UPLOADS/2014/08/BUCHTA.PDF, 8 September 2015, Supreme Leader of Iran>Supreme LeaderAli Khamenei}}President of Iran>President| leader_name2 = Hassan RouhaniVice President of Iran>First Vice President| leader_name3 = Eshaq JahangiriList of Speakers of the Parliament of Iran>Parliament Speaker| leader_name4 = Ali Larijani Chief Justice of Iran>Chief Justice| leader_name5 = Ebrahim Raisi| lower_house = Islamic Consultative AssemblyExpediency Discernment CouncilHTTPS://WWW.KHABARONLINE.IR/DETAIL/753640/POLITICS/PARTIES/LANGUAGE=PERSIAN, 10 February 2018, Guardian Council| sovereignty_type = Establishment history| established_event1 = Median Empire| established_date1 = c. 678 BC| established_event2 = Achaemenid Empire| established_date2 = 550 BC| established_event3 = Parthian Empire| established_date3 = 247 BC| established_event4 = Sasanian EmpireDATE=2005 URL=HTTPS://BOOKS.GOOGLE.COM/BOOKS?ID=A0IF9IDKDYEC LOCATION=LONDON QUOTE=SIMILARLY THE COLLAPSE OF SASSANIAN ERANSHAHR IN AD 650 DID NOT END IRANIANS' NATIONAL IDEA. THE NAME "IRAN" DISAPPEARED FROM OFFICIAL RECORDS OF THE SAFFARIDS, SAMANIDS, BUYIDS, SALJUQS AND THEIR SUCCESSOR. BUT ONE UNOFFICIALLY USED THE NAME IRAN, ERANSHAHR, AND SIMILAR NATIONAL DESIGNATIONS, PARTICULARLY MAMALEK-E IRAN OR "IRANIAN LANDS", WHICH EXACTLY TRANSLATED THE OLD AVESTAN TERM ARIYANAM DAIHUNAM. ON THE OTHER HAND, WHEN THE SAFAVIDS (NOT REZA SHAH, AS IS POPULARLY ASSUMED) REVIVED A NATIONAL STATE OFFICIALLY KNOWN AS IRAN, BUREAUCRATIC USAGE IN THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE AND EVEN IRAN ITSELF COULD STILL REFER TO IT BY OTHER DESCRIPTIVE AND TRADITIONAL APPELLATIONS., 9781845110628, | established_event5 = Buyid dynasty| established_date5 = 934 AD| established_event6 = Safavid dynasty| established_date6 = 1501| established_event7 = Pahlavi dynasty| established_date7 = 15 December 1925Iranian Revolution>Islamic Revolution| established_date8 = 7 January 1978 – 11 February 1979Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran>Current constitution| established_date9 = 24 October 19791989 Iranian constitutional referendum>Latest amendment| established_date10 = 28 July 1989| area_km2 = 1,648,195| area_rank = 17th| area_sq_mi = 636,372 | percent_water = 7.07WEBSITE=WWW.AMAR.ORG.IR, | population_estimate_year = 2018| population_estimate_rank = 18th| population_density_km2 = 48| population_density_sq_mi = 124 | population_density_rank = 162nd NEWSPAPER=DATA.WORLDBANK.ORG ACCESSDATE=29 NOVEMBER 2015 ARCHIVEURL=HTTPS://WEB.ARCHIVE.ORG/WEB/20150209003326/HTTPS://DATA.WORLDBANK.ORG/INDICATOR/SI.POV.GINI, 19 August 2019, | Gini_rank =| HDI = 0.798 | HDI_year = 2017| HDI_change = increaseYEAR=2018 ACCESSDATE=14 SEPTEMBER 2018, | HDI_rank = 60thIranian rial>Rial ({{wikt-langریال}})| currency_code = IRRIran Standard Time>IRST| utc_offset = +3:30| utc_offset_DST = +4:30| time_zone_DST = IRDTSolar Hijri calendar>SH)| drives_on = rightTelephone numbers in Iran>+98| iso3166code = .ir>ایران.}}(de facto)}}JEROEN TEMPERMAN > TITLE=STATE-RELIGION RELATIONSHIPS AND HUMAN RIGHTS LAW: TOWARDS A RIGHT TO RELIGIOUSLY NEUTRAL GOVERNANCE YEAR=2010 ISBN=978-90-04-18148-9, 87–, The official motto of Iran is Takbir ("God is the Greatest" or "God is Great"). Transliteration Allahu Akbar. As referred to in art. 18 of the constitution of Iran (1979). The de facto motto however is: "Independence, freedom, the Islamic Republic.", | official_religion =}}{{contains Perso-Arabic text|compact=yes}}Iran,{{efn| {{transl|fa|Irān}} {{IPA-fa|ʔiːˈɾɒːn||Iran-Pronunciation.ogg}}}} also called Persia,BOOK, A. Fishman, Joshua, Handbook of Language and Ethnic Identity: Disciplinary and Regional Perspectives (Volume 1), 2010, Oxford University Press, 978-0-19-537492-6, 266, ""Iran" and "Persia" are synonymous" The former has always been used by the Iranian speaking peoples themselves, while the latter has served as the international name of the country in various languages, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran,{{efn| {{transl|fa|Jomhuri-ye Eslāmi-ye Irān}} {{pronunciation|Fa-ir-JEI_(1).ogg|listen|(|help=no}} {{IPA-fa|dʒomhuːˌɾije eslɒːˌmije ʔiːˈɾɒn|}}}} is a country in Western Asia.WEB,weblink "CESWW" – Definition of Central Eurasia,, 1 August 2010, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 5 August 2010, MAGAZINE,weblink Iran Guide, National Geographic, 14 June 2013, 21 June 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 12 December 2009, With 82 million inhabitants, Iran is the world's 18th most populous country.NEWS,weblink National Census Preliminary Results Released: Iran's Urban Population Up, 2017-03-13, Financial Tribune, 2017-05-28, en-US, Its territory spans {{convert|1648195|km2|abbr=on}}, making it the second largest country in the Middle East and the 17th largest in the world. Iran is bordered to the northwest by Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan,{{efn|Including Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic and the de facto independent, but unrecognized Republic of Artsakh.}} to the north by the Caspian Sea, to the northeast by Turkmenistan, to the east by Afghanistan and Pakistan, to the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, and to the west by Turkey and Iraq. Its central location in Eurasia and Western Asia, and its proximity to the Strait of Hormuz, give it geostrategic importance.MAGAZINE,weblink Iran's Strategy in the Strait of Hormuz, The Diplomat, 29 November 2015, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 8 December 2015, Tehran is the political and economic center of Iran, and the largest and most populous city in Western Asia with more than 8.8 million residents in the city and 15 million in the larger metropolitan area.JOURNAL, Annamoradnejad, Rahimberdi, Annamoradnejad, Issa, Safarrad, Taher, Habibi, Jafar, 2019, Using Web Mining in the Analysis of Housing Prices: A Case study of Tehran,weblink 2019 5th International Conference on Web Research (ICWR), Tehran, Iran, IEEE, 55–60, 10.1109/ICWR.2019.8765250, 9781728114316, Iran is home to one of the world's oldest civilizations,BOOK, Whatley, Christopher, 2001, Bought and Sold for English Gold: The Union of 1707, Tuckwell Press, Christopher Whatley, BOOK, Lowell Barrington, Comparative Politics: Structures and Choices, 2nd Structures and Choices,weblink 21 June 2013, 2012, Cengage Learning, 978-1-111-34193-0, 121, beginning with the formation of the Elamite kingdoms in the fourth millennium BCE. It was first unified by the Iranian Medes in the seventh century BCE,ENCYCLOPEDIA, Encyclopædia Britannica,weblink Encyclopædia Britannica Encyclopedia Article: Media ancient region, Iran,, 25 August 2010, and reached its territorial height in the sixth century BCE under Cyrus the Great, whose Achaemenid Empire stretched from Eastern Europe to the Indus Valley, one of the largest empires in history.BOOK, David Sacks, Oswyn Murray, Lisa R. Brody, Oswyn Murray, Lisa R. Brody, Encyclopedia of the ancient Greek world,weblink 2005, Infobase Publishing, 978-0-8160-5722-1, 256 (at the right portion of the page), 17 August 2016, The empire fell to Alexander the Great in the fourth century BCE and was divided into several Hellenistic states. An Iranian rebellion established the Parthian Empire in the third century BCE, which was succeeded in the third century CE by the Sasanian Empire, a leading world power for the next four centuries.BOOK, Stillman, Norman A., The Jews of Arab Lands, 22, Jewish Publication Society, 1979, 978-0-8276-1155-9, BOOK, Jeffreys, Elizabeth, Haarer, Fiona K., Proceedings of the 21st International Congress of Byzantine Studies: London, 21–26 August, 2006, Volume 1, 29, Ashgate Publishing, 2006, 978-0-7546-5740-8, Arab Muslims conquered the empire in the seventh century CE, and the subsequent Islamization of Iran led to the decline of the once dominant Zoroastrian religion. Iran's major contributions to art, philosophy, and science spread throughout the Muslim world and beyond during the Islamic Golden Age. Over the next two centuries, a series of native Muslim dynasties emerged before the Seljuq Turks and the Ilkhanate Mongols conquered the region. The rise of the native Safavids in the 15th century led to the reestablishment of a unified Iranian state and national identity, with the country's conversion to Shia Islam marking a turning point in Iranian and Muslim history.BOOK, Andrew J. Newman, Safavid Iran: Rebirth of a Persian Empire,weblink 21 June 2013, 2006, I.B. Tauris, 978-1-86064-667-6, ENCYCLOPEDIA, Savory, R. M., Safavids, Encyclopaedia of Islam, 2nd, Under Nader Shah, Iran was one of the most powerful states in the 18th century,BOOK,weblink The Sword of Persia: Nader Shah, from Tribal Warrior to Conquering Tyrant, Axworthy, Door Michael, 2006, 27 May 2014, 978-0-85772-193-8, though by the 19th century, a series of conflicts with the Russian Empire led to significant territorial losses.{{sfn|Fisher|Avery|Hambly|Melville|1991|pp=329–330}}BOOK, Dowling, Timothy C.,weblink Russia at War: From the Mongol Conquest to Afghanistan, Chechnya, and Beyond, 728–730, ABC-CLIO, 2014, 978-1-59884-948-6, The Persian Constitutional Revolution in the early 20th century created a constitutional monarchy and the country's first legislature. A 1953 coup instigated by the United Kingdom and the United States resulted in greater autocratic rule under Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and growing Western political influence.BOOK, Cordesman, Anthony H.,weblink Iran's Military Forces in Transition: Conventional Threats and Weapons of Mass Destruction, 22, 1999, 978-0-275-96529-7, Anthony Cordesman, A far-reaching series of reforms known as the White Revolution was launched by the Shah in 1963, prompting industrial growth, land reforms, and increased women's rights.BOOK, Graham, Robert, Iran: The Illusion of Power,weblink London, St. Martin's Press, 1980, 19, 96, 978-0-312-43588-2, Nevertheless, widespread dissatisfaction and unrest against the monarchy persisted, leading to the Iranian Revolution, which established the current Islamic Republic.WEB,weblink Iran, 2012, Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, 8 August 2012, For most of the 1980s, Iran fought a war with Iraq that resulted in severe casualties and economic devastation for both sides.Iran's political system has elements of a presidential democracy with a theocracy governed by an autocratic "Supreme Leader".WEB, fa:قانون اساسی جمهوری اسلامی ایران,weblink Persian, 23 January 2008, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 10 April 2008, It has been described as authoritarian, with significant constraints and abuses against human rights.WEB,weblink 2018 will go down in history as a year of shame for Iran,, en, 2019-03-14, WEB,weblink Nasrin Sotoudeh sentenced to 33 years and 148 lashes in Iran,, en, 2019-03-14, WEB,weblink Women's Rights in Iran, Avenue, Human Rights Watch {{!, 350 Fifth|last2=York|first2=34th Floor {{!}} New|date=2015-10-28|website=Human Rights Watch|language=en|access-date=2019-03-14|last3=t|first3=NY 10118-3299 USA {{!}}}}WEB,weblink Iran, 30 January 2019,, Iran is a founding member of the UN, ECO, NAM, OIC, and OPEC. It is a major regional and middle power,WEB, The Committee Office, House of Commons,weblink Select Committee on Foreign Affairs, Eighth Report, Iran,, 18 June 2011, WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 3 January 2010, Iran @ 2000 and Beyond lecture series, opening address, W. Herbert Hunt, 18 May 2000, 21 June 2013, and its large reserves of fossil fuels—including the world's largest natural gas supply and the fourth largest proven oil reserves - exert considerable influence in international energy security and the world economy.WEB,weblink UPDATE 3-BP cuts global gas reserves estimate, mostly for Russia,, 2013, 29 November 2015, WEB,weblink Iran, CIA World Factbook, 24 May 2018, The country's rich cultural legacy is reflected in part by its 22 UNESCO World Heritage sites, the third largest number in Asia and 11th largest in the world.WEB, World Heritage List,weblink UNESCO, Historically a multi-ethnic country, Iran remains a pluralistic society comprising numerous ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups, the largest being Persians, Azeris, Kurds, Mazandaranis and Lursweblink


The term Iran derives directly from Middle Persian {{transl|pal|Ērān}}, first attested in a third-century inscription at Rustam Relief, with the accompanying Parthian inscription using the term {{transl|xpr|Aryān}}, in reference to the Iranians.ENCYCLOPEDIA, MacKenzie, David Niel, Ērān, Ērānšahr, 1998, 8, Encyclopedia Iranica, Mazda, Costa Mesa,weblink dead,weblink" title="">weblink 13 March 2017, The Middle Iranian ērān and aryān are oblique plural forms of gentilic nouns ēr- (Middle Persian) and ary- (Parthian), both deriving from Proto-Iranian *arya- (meaning "Aryan", i.e. "of the Iranians"),{{citation|last=Schmitt|first=Rüdiger|chapter=Aryans|pages=684–687|series=vol. 2|year=1987|title=Encyclopedia Iranica|location=New York|publisher=Routledge & Kegan Paul|chapter-url=}} recognized as a derivative of Proto-Indo-European {{PIE|*ar-yo-}}, meaning "one who assembles (skilfully)".Laroche. 1957. Proto-Iranian *arya- descends from Proto-Indo-European (PIE) {{PIE|*ar-yo-}}, a yo-adjective to a root {{PIE|*ar}} "to assemble skillfully", present in Greek harma "chariot", Greek aristos, (as in "aristocracy"), Latin ars "art", etc. In the Iranian languages, the gentilic is attested as a self-identifier, included in ancient inscriptions and the literature of the Avesta,ENCYCLOPEDIA, Bailey, Harold Walter, Harold Walter Bailey, Arya, 681–683, 1987, 2, Encyclopedia Iranica, New York, Routledge & Kegan Paul,weblink dead,weblink" title="">weblink 3 March 2016, {{efn|In the Avesta, the airiia- are members of the ethnic group of the Avesta-reciters themselves, in contradistinction to the anairiia- (the "non-Arya"). The word also appears four times in Old Persian: One is in the Behistun inscription, where ariya- is the name of a language (DB 4.89). The other three instances occur in Darius I's inscription at Naqsh-e Rustam (DNa 14–15), in Darius I's inscription at Susa (DSe 13–14), and in the inscription of Xerxes I at Persepolis (XPh 12–13). In these, the two Achaemenid dynasties describe themselves as pārsa pārsahyā puça ariya ariyaciça "a Persian, son of a Persian, an Ariya, of Ariya origin." — The phrase with ciça ("origin, descendance") assures that ariya is an ethnic name wider in meaning than pārsa and not a simple adjectival epithet.}} and remains also in other Iranian ethnic names Alan ( {{transl|os|Ir}}) and Iron (). According to the Iranian mythology, the country's name comes from name of Iraj, a legendary prince and shah who was killed by his brothers.WEB, Shapour Shahbazi, Alireza, IRAJ,weblink Iranica website, 2014-03-30, Historically, Iran has been referred to as Persia by the West, due mainly to the writings of Greek historians who referred to all of Iran as {{transl|grc|Persís}} (; from Old Persian {{transl|peo|Pārsa}}),Persia, Encyclopædia Britannica, "The term Persia was used for centuries ... [because] use of the name was gradually extended by the ancient Greeks and other peoples to apply to the whole Iranian plateau." meaning "land of the Persians", while Persis itself was one of the provinces of ancient Iran that is today defined as Fars.BOOK,weblink The Persian Gulf (RLE Iran A), Wilson, Arnold, 71, The Middle Ages: Fars, 978-1-136-84105-7, 2012, Routledge, As the most extensive interaction the Ancient Greeks had with any outsider was with the Persians, the term persisted, even long after the Greco-Persian Wars (499–449 BC).In 1935, Reza Shah requested the international community to refer to the country by its native name, Iran, effective March 22 that year.NEWS,weblink Persia Changes Its Name; To Be 'Iran' From Mar. 22, The New York Times, 1935-01-01, 2018-12-26, Opposition to the name change led to the reversal of the decision in 1959, and Professor Ehsan Yarshater, editor of Encyclopædia Iranica, propagated a move to use Persia and Iran interchangeably.WEB, Renaming Persia,, 2007,weblink 26 April 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 12 April 2011, {{unreliablesource|date=December 2018}} Today, both Iran and Persia are used in cultural contexts, while Iran remains irreplaceable in official state contexts.WEB,weblink Persia or Iran, a brief history,, 21 June 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 23 May 2013, Historical and cultural usage of the word Iran is not restricted to the modern state proper.AV MEDIA, Richard N. Frye, interview by Asieh Namdar,weblink 20 October 2007, CNN, I spent all my life working in Iran, and as you know I don't mean Iran of today, I mean Greater Iran, the Iran which in the past, extended all the way from China to borders of Hungary and from other Mongolia to Mesopotamia, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 23 April 2016, BOOK, Christoph Marcinkowski, Shi'ite Identities: Community and Culture in Changing Social Contexts,weblink 21 June 2013, The 'historical lands of Iran' – 'Greater Iran' – were always known in the Persian language as Irānshahr or Irānzamīn., 2010, LIT Verlag Münster, 978-3-643-80049-7, 83, JOURNAL, Frye, Richard Nelson, The Harvard Theological Review, October 1962, 55, 4, 261–268, Reitzenstein and Qumrân Revisited by an Iranian, I use the term Iran in an historical context [...] Persia would be used for the modern state, more or less equivalent to "western Iran". I use the term "Greater Iran" to mean what I suspect most Classicists and ancient historians really mean by their use of Persia – that which was within the political boundaries of States ruled by Iranians., 1508723, 10.1017/S0017816000007926, "Greater Iran" (Irānzamīn or Irān e Bozorg)BOOK, Richard Frye, Persia (RLE Iran A),weblink 21 June 2013, This 'greater Iran' included and still includes part of the Caucasus Mountains, Central Asia, Afghanistan, and Iraq; for Kurds, Baluchis, Afghans, Tajiks, Ossetes, and other smaller groups are Iranians, 2012, Routledge, 978-1-136-84154-5, 13, refers to territories of the Iranian cultural and linguistic zones. In addition to modern Iran, it includes portions of the Caucasus, Anatolia, Mesopotamia, Afghanistan, and Central Asia.Farrokh, Kaveh. Shadows in the Desert: Ancient Persia at War. {{ISBN|1-84603-108-7}}


The Persian pronunciation of Iran is {{IPA-fa|ʔiːˈɾɒːn||}}. Common Commonwealth English pronunciations of Iran are listed in the Oxford English Dictionary as {{IPAc-en|ɪ|ˈ|r|ɑː|n}} and {{IPAc-en|ɪ|ˈ|r|æ|n}},WEB,weblink Iran, Oxford Dictionaries, 7 February 2017, dead,weblink 29 December 2016, while American English dictionaries such as Merriam-Webster's provide pronunciations which map to {{IPAc-en|ɪ|ˈ|r|ɑː|n|,_|-|ˈ|r|æ|n|,_|aɪ|ˈ|r|æ|n}},WEB,weblink Iran, Merriam-Webster, 7 February 2017, or likewise in Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary as {{IPAc-en|ɪ|ˈ|r|æ|n|,_|ɪ|ˈ|r|ɑː|n|,_|aɪ|ˈ|r|æ|n}}. The Cambridge Dictionary lists {{IPAc-en|ɪ|ˈ|r|ɑː|n}} as the British pronunciation and {{IPAc-en|ɪ|ˈ|r|æ|n}} as the American pronunciation. Similarly, Glasgow-based Collins English Dictionary provides both English English and American English pronunciations. The pronunciation guide from Voice of America also provides {{IPAc-en|ɪ|ˈ|r|ɑː|n}}.WEB,weblink How do you say Iran?, Voice of America, 7 February 2017, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 11 February 2017, The American English pronunciation {{IPAc-en|aɪ|ˈ|r|æ|n}} {{respell|eye|RAN}} may be heard in U.S. media. Max Fisher in The Washington PostWEB,weblink A guide to 26 foreign countries and names that Americans mispronounce, The Washington Post, 7 February 2017, prescribed {{IPAc-en|iː|ˈ|r|ɑː|n}} for Iran, while proscribing {{IPAc-en|aɪ|ˈ|r|æ|n}}. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, in the dictionary's 2014 Usage Ballot, addressed the topic of the pronunciations of Iran and Iraq.WEB,weblink American English Pronunciations of Iran and Iraq, The American Heritage Dictionary, 7 February 2017, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 11 February 2017, According to this survey, the pronunciations {{IPAc-en|ɪ|ˈ|r|ɑː|n}} and {{IPAc-en|ɪ|ˈ|r|æ|n}} were deemed almost equally acceptable, while {{IPAc-en|ɪ|ˈ|r|ɑː|n}} was preferred by most panelists participating in the ballot. With regard to the {{IPAc-en|aɪ|ˈ|r|æ|n}} pronunciation, more than 70% of the panelists deemed it unacceptable. Among the reasons given by those panelists were that {{IPAc-en|aɪ|ˈ|r|æ|n}} has "hawkish connotations" and sounds "angrier", "xenophobic", "ignorant", and "not...cosmopolitan". The {{IPAc-en|aɪ|ˈ|r|æ|n}} pronunciation remains standard and acceptable, reflected in the entry for Iran in the American Heritage Dictionary itself, as well as in each of the other major dictionaries of American English.



{{Further|Prehistory of Iran|Archaeological sites in Iran}}File:Cave painting in Doushe cave, Lorstan, Iran, 8th millennium BC.JPG|thumb|A cave painting in Doushe cave, Lorestan, from the 8th millennium BCWEB,weblink Researchers Discover 7,000-Year Old Cemetery In Khuzestan, Iran, M, Dattatreya, al, 2016-03-14, Realm of History, en-US, 2019-06-02, ]]The earliest attested archaeological artifacts in Iran, like those excavated at Kashafrud and Ganj Par in northern Iran, confirm a human presence in Iran since the Lower Paleolithic.WEB, Biglari, Fereidoun, Fereidoun Biglari, Saman Heydari, Sonia Shidrang, Ganj Par: The first evidence for Lower Paleolithic occupation in the Southern Caspian Basin, Iran, Antiquity (journal), Antiquity,weblink 27 April 2011, Iran's Neanderthal artifacts from the Middle Paleolithic have been found mainly in the Zagros region, at sites such as Warwasi and Yafteh.WEB,weblink National Museum of Iran,, 21 June 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 26 July 2013, BOOK, J. D. Vigne, J. Peters, D. Helmer, First Steps of Animal Domestication, Proceedings of the 9th Conference of the International Council of Archaeozoology, 2002, Oxbow Books, Limited, 978-1-84217-121-9, {{page needed|date=July 2013}} From the 10th to the seventh millennium BC, early agricultural communities began to flourish in and around the Zagros region in western Iran, including Chogha Golan,WEB,weblink Early humans in Iran were growing wheat 12,000 years ago, Nidhi Subbaraman, NBC News, 26 August 2015, "Emergence of Agriculture in the Foothills of the Zagros Mountains of Iran", by Simone Riehl, Mohsen Zeidi, Nicholas J. Conard – University of Tübingen, publication 10 May 2013 Chogha Bonut,WEB,weblink Excavations at Chogha Bonut: The earliest village in Susiana,, 21 June 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 25 July 2013, WEB, Hole, Frank, NEOLITHIC AGE IN IRAN, Encyclopedia Iranica, Encyclopaedia Iranica Foundation, 20 July 2004,weblink 9 August 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 23 October 2012, and Chogha Mish.WEB, Chogha Mish (Iran), K. Kris Hirst,weblink 18 December 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 6 November 2013, BOOK, Collon, Dominique, Ancient Near Eastern Art,weblink 4 July 2013, 1995, University of California Press, 978-0-520-20307-5, {{page needed|date=July 2013}}WEB,weblink New evidence: modern civilization began in Iran,, 10 August 2007, 21 June 2013, The emergence of Susa as a city, as determined by radiocarbon dating, dates back to early 4,395 BC.BOOK, D. T. Potts, The Archaeology of Elam: Formation and Transformation of an Ancient Iranian State,weblink 21 June 2013, 1999, Cambridge University Press, 978-0-521-56496-0, 45–46, There are dozens of prehistoric sites across the Iranian Plateau, pointing to the existence of ancient cultures and urban settlements in the fourth millennium BC.NEWS,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 12 March 2007, Panorama – 03/03/07, Iran Daily, 21 June 2013,, "Archaeologists: Modern civilization began in Iran based on new evidence", 12 August 2007. Retrieved 1 October 2007. {{webarchive |url= |date=26 June 2015 }} During the Bronze Age, the territory of present-day Iran was home to several civilizations, including Elam, Jiroft, and Zayanderud. Elam, the most prominent of these civilizations, developed in the southwest alongside those in Mesopotamia, and continued its existence until the emergence of the Iranian empires. The advent of writing in Elam was paralleled to Sumer, and the Elamite cuneiform was developed since the third millennium BC.WEB, Ancient Scripts:Elamite, 1996,weblink 28 April 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 13 May 2011, From the 34th to the 20th century BC, northwestern Iran was part of the Kura-Araxes culture, which stretched into the neighboring Caucasus and Anatolia. Since the earliest second millennium BC, Assyrians settled in swaths of western Iran and incorporated the region into their territories.

Classical antiquity

{{See also|Indo-European migrations}}File:Medes and Persians at eastern stairs of the Apadana, Persepolis.JPG|thumb|A bas-relief at Persepolis, depicting the united Medes and Persians ]]By the second millennium BC, the ancient Iranian peoples arrived in what is now Iran from the Eurasian Steppe,WEB, Basu, Dipak, Death of the Aryan Invasion Theory,weblink, 6 May 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 29 October 2012, rivaling the native settlers of the region.WEB, Cory Panshin,weblink The Palaeolithic Indo-Europeans,, 21 June 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 29 June 2013, WEB, Afary, Janet, Peter William Avery, Khosrow Mostofi, Iran (Ethnic Groups), Encyclopædia Britannica,weblink 28 April 2011, As the Iranians dispersed into the wider area of Greater Iran and beyond, the boundaries of modern-day Iran were dominated by Median, Persian, and Parthian tribes.From the late 10th to the late seventh century BC, the Iranian peoples, together with the "pre-Iranian" kingdoms, fell under the domination of the Assyrian Empire, based in northern Mesopotamia.BOOK, Roux, Georges, Ancient Iraq, 1992, Penguin Adult, 978-0-14-193825-7, Georges Roux, Under king Cyaxares, the Medes and Persians entered into an alliance with Babylonian ruler Nabopolassar, as well as the fellow Iranian Scythians and Cimmerians, and together they attacked the Assyrian Empire. The civil war ravaged the Assyrian Empire between 616 and 605 BC, thus freeing their respective peoples from three centuries of Assyrian rule. The unification of the Median tribes under king Deioces in 728 BC led to the foundation of the Median Empire which, by 612 BC, controlled almost the entire territory of present-day Iran and eastern Anatolia.WEB, Median Empire, Iran Chamber Society, 2001,weblink 29 April 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 14 May 2011, This marked the end of the Kingdom of Urartu as well, which was subsequently conquered and dissolved.BOOK, A. G. Sagona, The Heritage of Eastern Turkey: From Earliest Settlements to Islam,weblink 2006, Macmillan Education AU, 978-1-876832-05-6, 91, WEB,weblink Urartu civilization,, 26 August 2015, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 1 July 2015, File:Pasargad Tomb Cyrus3.jpg|thumb|Tomb of Cyrus the Great, the founder of the Achaemenid Empire, in PasargadaePasargadaeIn 550 BC, Cyrus the Great, the son of Mandane and Cambyses I, took over the Median Empire, and founded the Achaemenid Empire by unifying other city-states. The conquest of Media was a result of what is called the Persian Revolt. The brouhaha was initially triggered by the actions of the Median ruler Astyages, and was quickly spread to other provinces, as they allied with the Persians. Later conquests under Cyrus and his successors expanded the empire to include Lydia, Babylon, Egypt, parts of the Balkans and Eastern Europe proper, as well as the lands to the west of the Indus and Oxus rivers.539 BC was the year in which Persian forces defeated the Babylonian army at Opis, and marked the end of around four centuries of Mesopotamian domination of the region by conquering the Neo-Babylonian Empire. Cyrus entered Babylon and presented himself as a traditional Mesopotamian monarch. Subsequent Achaemenid art and iconography reflect the influence of the new political reality in Mesopotamia.File:Achaemenid Empire (flat map).svg|thumb|left|The Achaemenid Empire around the time of Darius I and Xerxes IXerxes IAt its greatest extent, the Achaemenid Empire included territories of modern-day Iran, Republic of Azerbaijan (Arran and Shirvan), Armenia, Georgia, Turkey (Anatolia), much of the Black Sea coastal regions, northeastern Greece and southern Bulgaria (Thrace), northern Greece and North Macedonia (Paeonia and Macedon), Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories, all significant population centers of ancient Egypt as far west as Libya, Kuwait, northern Saudi Arabia, parts of the United Arab Emirates and Oman, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and much of Central Asia, making it the first world government and the largest empire the world had yet seen.It is estimated that in 480 BC, 50 million people lived in the Achaemenid Empire.BOOK, Ehsan Yarshater,weblink Encyclopaedia Iranica, 1996, 47, Routledge, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 978-1-56859-028-8, While estimates for the Achaemenid Empire range from 10–80+ million, most prefer 50 million. Prevas (2009, p. 14) estimates 10 million. Strauss (2004, p. 37) estimates about 20 million. Ward (2009, p. 16) estimates at 20 million. Scheidel (2009, p. 99) estimates 35 million. Daniel (2001, p. 41) estimates at 50 million. Meyer and Andreades (2004, p. 58) estimates to 50 million. Jones (2004, p. 8) estimates over 50 million. Richard (2008, p. 34) estimates nearly 70 million. Hanson (2001, p. 32) estimates almost 75 million. Cowley (1999 and 2001, p. 17) estimates possibly 80 million. The empire at its peak ruled over 44% of the world's population, the highest such figure for any empire in history.WEB, Largest empire by percentage of world population,weblink Guinness World Records, 11 March 2015, File:Gate of All Nations, Persepolis.jpg|thumb|Ruins of the Gate of All Nations, PersepolisPersepolisThe Achaemenid Empire is noted for the release of the Jewish exiles in Babylon,NEWS,weblink Cyrus the Great, Encyclopedia Britannica, 2018-11-02, en, In the Bible (e.g., Ezra 1:1–4), Cyrus is famous for freeing the Jewish captives in Babylonia and allowing them to return to their homeland., building infrastructures such as the Royal Road and the Chapar (postal service), and the use of an official language, Imperial Aramaic, throughout its territories. The empire had a centralized, bureaucratic administration under the emperor, a large professional army, and civil services, inspiring similar developments in later empires.ENCYCLOPAEDIA, Schmitt, Rüdiger, Achaemenid dynasty,weblink Encyclopaedia Iranica, vol. 3, Routledge & Kegan Paul, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 3 December 2015, Schmitt Achaemenid dynasty (i. The clan and dynasty)Eventual conflict on the western borders began with the Ionian Revolt, which erupted into the Greco-Persian Wars and continued through the first half of the fifth century BC, and ended with the withdrawal of the Achaemenids from all of the territories in the Balkans and Eastern Europe proper.{{sfn|Roisman|Worthington|2011|pp=135–138, 342–345}}In 334 BC, Alexander the Great invaded the Achaemenid Empire, defeating the last Achaemenid emperor, Darius III, at the Battle of Issus. Following the premature death of Alexander, Iran came under the control of the Hellenistic Seleucid Empire. In the middle of the second century BC, the Parthian Empire rose to become the main power in Iran, and the century-long geopolitical arch-rivalry between the Romans and the Parthians began, culminating in the Roman–Parthian Wars. The Parthian Empire continued as a feudal monarchy for nearly five centuries, until 224 CE, when it was succeeded by the Sasanian Empire.WEB, Jakobsson, Jens, Seleucid Empire, Iran Chamber Society, 2004,weblink 29 April 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 5 June 2011, Together with their neighboring arch-rival, the Roman-Byzantines, they made up the world's two most dominant powers at the time, for over four centuries.File:Sassanid reliefs at Taq e Bostan.jpg|thumb|left|Sasanian rock reliefs at Taq Bostan, in the heart of the Zagros MountainsZagros MountainsThe Sasanians established an empire within the frontiers achieved by the Achaemenids, with their capital at Ctesiphon. Late antiquity is considered one of Iran's most influential periods, as under the Sasanians their influence reached the culture of ancient Rome (and through that as far as Western Europe),BOOK, Bury, J.B., History of the Later Roman Empire from the Death of Theodosius I. to the Death of Justinian, Part 1, 1958, Dover Publications, Courier Corporation, 90–92, J. B. Bury, BOOK, Durant, Will, The Age of Faith: The Story of Civilization, Simon & Schuster, 2011,weblink Repaying its debt, Sasanian art exported its forms and motives eastward into India, Turkestan, and China, westward into Syria, Asia Minor, Constantinople, the Balkans, Egypt, and Spain., 978-1-4516-4761-7, Africa,WEB,weblink Transoxiana 04: Sasanians in Africa,, 16 December 2013, China, and India,BOOK, Romesh Chunder Dutt, Dutt, Romesh Chunder, Vincent Arthur Smith, Smith, Vincent Arthur; Stanley Lane-Poole, Lane-Poole, Stanley; Henry Miers Elliot, Elliot, Henry Miers; William Wilson Hunter, Hunter, William Wilson; Alfred Comyn Lyall, Lyall, Alfred Comyn, History of India, 2, 1906, Grolier, Grolier Society, 243, and played a prominent role in the formation of the medieval art of both Europe and Asia.WEB,weblink Iransaga: The art of Sassanians,, 16 December 2013, File:Victory of Shapur I over Valerian.jpg|thumb|A bas-relief at Naqsh-e Rostam, depicting the victory of Sasanian ruler Shapur I over Roman ruler Valerian ]]Most of the era of the Sasanian Empire was overshadowed by the Roman–Persian Wars, which raged on the western borders at Anatolia, the Western Caucasus, Mesopotamia, and the Levant, for over 700 years. These wars ultimately exhausted both the Romans and the Sasanians and led to the defeat of both by the Muslim invasion.Throughout the Achaemenid, Parthian, and Sasanian eras, several offshoots of the Iranian dynasties established eponymous branches in Anatolia and the Caucasus, including the Pontic Kingdom, the Mihranids, and the Arsacid dynasties of Armenia, Iberia (Georgia), and Caucasian Albania (present-day Republic of Azerbaijan and southern Dagestan).

Medieval period

The prolonged Byzantine–Sasanian wars, most importantly the climactic war of 602–628, as well as the social conflict within the Sasanian Empire, opened the way for an Arab invasion of Iran in the seventh century.BOOK, George Liska, Expanding Realism: The Historical Dimension of World Politics, 1998, Rowman & Littlefield Pub Incorporated, 978-0-8476-8680-3, 170, WEB,weblink The Rise and Spread of Islam, The Arab Empire of the Umayyads – Weakness of the Adversary Empires,, 30 November 2015, The empire was initially defeated by the Rashidun Caliphate, which was succeeded by the Umayyad Caliphate, followed by the Abbasid Caliphate. A prolonged and gradual process of state-imposed Islamization followed, which targeted Iran's then Zoroastrian majority and included religious persecution,JOURNAL, 10.1353/pew.2002.0030, Stepaniants, Marietta, The Encounter of Zoroastrianism with Islam, Philosophy East and West, 52, 2, 159–172, University of Hawai'i Press, 2002, 0031-8221, 1399963, BOOK, Boyce, Mary, 2001, Zoroastrians: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices,weblink 2, New York, 252, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 978-0-415-23902-8, BOOK, Meri, Josef W., Bacharach, Jere L., Medieval Islamic Civilization: L-Z, index, Medieval Islamic Civilization: An Encyclopedia, Taylor & Francis, 2006, illustrated, II, 878,weblink 978-0-415-96692-4, demolition of librariesWEB,weblink Under Persian rule, BBC, 16 December 2009, and fire temples,BOOK, Khanbaghi, Aptin, The Fire, the Star and the Cross: Minority Religions in Medieval and Early Modern Iran,weblink 268, 2006, reprint, I.B. Tauris, 978-1-84511-056-7, a special tax penalty ("jizya"),BOOK, Kamran Hashemi, Religious Legal Traditions, International Human Rights Law and Muslim States,weblink 2008, Brill, 978-90-04-16555-7, 142, BOOK, Suha Rassam, Iraq: Its Origins and Development to the Present Day,weblink 2005, Gracewing Publishing, 978-0-85244-633-1, 77, and language shift.BOOK, Cambridge University Press, Frye, Richard N., Richard N. Frye, Abdolhossein Zarrinkoob, Zarrinkub,'Abd Al-Husain, Cambridge History of Iran, The Arab Conquest of Iran and Its Aftermath, 4, 1975, London, 46, 978-0-521-20093-6, BOOK, Spuler, Bertold, A History of the Muslim World: The age of the caliphs,weblink 138, 1994, Illustrated, Markus Wiener Publishers, 978-1-55876-095-0, In 750, the Abbasids overthrew the Umayyads, notably by the support from the "mawali" (converted Iranians).WEB, Islamic History: The Abbasid Dynasty, Religion Facts,weblink 30 April 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 7 September 2015, The mawali formed the majority of the rebel army, which was led by converted Iranian general Abu Muslim.WEB, Hooker, Richard, The Abbasid Dynasty, Washington State University, 1996,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 29 June 2011, 17 June 2011, BOOK, Joel Carmichael, The Shaping of the Arabs,weblink 21 June 2013, Abu Muslim, the Persian general and popular leader, 1967, 235, BOOK, Frye, Richard Nelson, Iran,weblink 23 June 2013, 2, revised, 1960, G. Allen & Unwin, 47, A Persian Muslim called Abu Muslim., The arrival of the Abbasid Caliphs saw a relative revival of Iranian culture and influence, as the role of the old Arab aristocracy was partially replaced by a Muslim Iranian bureaucracy.BOOK, Sayyid Fayyaz Mahmud, A Short History of Islam, 1988, Oxford University Press, 978-0-19-577384-2, 125, After two centuries of Arab rule, semi-independent and independent Iranian kingdoms—including the Tahirids, Saffarids, Samanids, and Buyids—began to appear on the fringes of the declining Abbasid Caliphate. By the Samanid era in the ninth and 10th centuries, the efforts of Iranians to regain their independence had been well solidified.BOOK, Richard Nelson Frye, The Cambridge History of Iran,weblink 23 June 2013, 4, 1975, Cambridge University Press, 978-0-521-20093-6, 90, File:Hafez 880714 095.jpg|thumb|Tomb of Hafez, the medieval Persian poet whose works are regarded as a pinnacle in Persian literature and have left a considerable mark on later Western writers, most notably Goethe, Thoreau, and (Ralph Waldo Emerson|Emerson]].JOURNAL, Paul Kane, Emerson and Hafiz: The Figure of the Religious Poet, Religion & Literature, 41, 1, 111–139, 25676860, 2009, BOOK, Shafiq Shamel, Goethe and Hafiz: Poetry and History in the West-östlicher Diwan, BOOK, Adineh Khojasteh Pour, Behnam Mirza Baba Zadeh, Socrates: Vol 2, No 1 (2014): Issue – March – Section 07. The Reception of Classical Persian Poetry in Anglophone World: Problems and Solutions,weblink 26 October 2015, 28 March 2014, )The blossoming literature, philosophy, mathematics, medicine, astronomy and art of Iran became major elements in the formation of a new age for the Iranian civilization, during a period known as the Islamic Golden Age.BOOK, Richard G. Hovannisian, Georges Sabagh, The Persian Presence in the Islamic World,weblink 21 June 2013, 1998, Cambridge University Press, 978-0-521-59185-0, 7, The Golden age of Islam [...] attributable, in no small measure, to the vital participation of Persian men of letters, philosophers, theologians, grammarians, mathematicians, musicians, astronomers, geographers, and physicians, BOOK, Bernard Lewis, From Babel to Dragomans : Interpreting the Middle East: Interpreting the Middle East,weblink 21 June 2013, ...the Iranian contribution to this new Islamic civilization is of immense importance., 2004, Oxford University Press, 978-0-19-803863-4, 44, The Islamic Golden Age reached its peak by the 10th and 11th centuries, during which Iran was the main theater of scientific activities.BOOK, Richard Nelson Frye, The Cambridge History of Iran,weblink 21 June 2013, 4, 1975, Cambridge University Press, 978-0-521-20093-6, 396, After the 10th century, Persian, alongside Arabic, was used for scientific, medical, philosophical, arithmetical, historical, and musical works, and renowned Iranian writers—such as Tusi, Avicenna, Qotb-od-Din Shirazi, and Biruni—had major contributions in scientific writing. Among Iran's famous medieval scientists, Al-Khwarizmi (whose name was Latinized as Algoritmi) gave a significant role in the development of the Arabic numerals and algebra through his 9th-century work On the Calculation with Hindu Numerals that is globally adopted as the modern numerical system.The cultural revival that began in the Abbasid period led to a resurfacing of the Iranian national identity; thus, the attempts of Arabization never succeeded in Iran. The Shu'ubiyya movement became a catalyst for Iranians to regain independence in their relations with the Arab invaders.WEB, Bosworth, C. E., ʿAjam,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 25 June 2016, Encyclopaedia Iranica, 23 June 2013, The most notable effect of this movement was the continuation of the Persian language attested to the works of the epic poet Ferdowsi, now considered the most prominent figure in Iranian literature.File:Toghrol Tower in Ray.jpg|thumb|left|Tuğrul Tower, a 12th-century monument at Rhages.]]The 10th century saw a mass migration of Turkic tribes from Central Asia into the Iranian Plateau.BOOK, Gene R. Garthwaite, The Persians, 2008, Wiley, 978-1-4051-4400-1, Turkic tribesmen were first used in the Abbasid army as mamluks (slave-warriors), replacing Iranian and Arab elements within the army. As a result, the Mamluks gained a significant political power. In 999, large portions of Iran came briefly under the rule of the Ghaznavids, whose rulers were of mamluk Turkic origin, and longer subsequently under the Seljuk and Khwarezmian empires. These dynasties had been Persianized, and had adopted Persian models of administration and rulership. The Seljuks subsequently gave rise to the Sultanate of Rum in Anatolia, while taking their thoroughly Persianized identity with them.Sigfried J. de Laet. History of Humanity: From the seventh to the sixteenth century UNESCO, 1994. {{ISBN|92-3-102813-8}} p. 734Ga ́bor A ́goston, Bruce Alan Masters. Encyclopedia of the Ottoman Empire Infobase Publishing, 2009 {{ISBN|1-4381-1025-1}} p. 322 The result of the adoption and patronage of Iranian culture by Turkish rulers was the development of a distinct Turko-Persian tradition.From 1219 to 1221, under the Khwarazmian Empire, Iran suffered a devastating invasion by the Mongol army of Genghis Khan. According to Steven R. Ward, "Mongol violence and depredations killed up to three-fourths of the population of the Iranian Plateau, possibly 10 to 15 million people. Some historians have estimated that Iran's population did not again reach its pre-Mongol levels until the mid-20th century."BOOK, Steven R. Ward, Immortal: A Military History of Iran and Its Armed Forces,weblink 21 June 2013, 2009, Georgetown University Press, 978-1-58901-587-6, 39, Following the fracture of the Mongol Empire in 1256, Hulagu Khan, grandson of Genghis Khan, established the Ilkhanate in Iran. In 1370, yet another conqueror, Timur, followed the example of Hulagu, establishing the Timurid Empire which lasted for another 156 years. In 1387, Timur ordered the complete massacre of Isfahan, reportedly killing 70,000 citizens.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 9 September 2012, Isfahan: Iran's Hidden Jewel,, 21 June 2013, The Ilkhans and the Timurids soon came to adopt the ways and customs of the Iranians, surrounding themselves with a culture that was distinctively Iranian.BOOK, Spuler, Bertold, The Muslim World. Vol. I The Age of the Caliphs, 1960, E.J. Brill, 978-0-685-23328-3, 29,

Early modern period

File:Сефи 1й 1629-42.jpg|thumb|right|upright|Venetian portrait, kept at the Uffizi, of Ismail I, the founder of the Safavid Empire ]]By the 1500s, Ismail I of Ardabil established the Safavid Empire, with his capital at Tabriz. Beginning with Azerbaijan, he subsequently extended his authority over all of the Iranian territories, and established an intermittent Iranian hegemony over the vast relative regions, reasserting the Iranian identity within large parts of Greater Iran.Why is there such confusion about the origins of this important dynasty, which reasserted Iranian identity and established an independent Iranian state after eight and a half centuries of rule by foreign dynasties? RM Savory, Iran under the Safavids (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1980), p. 3. Iran was predominantly Sunni,BOOK, Thabit Abdullah, A Short History of Iraq,weblink 12 May 2014, Taylor & Francis, 978-1-317-86419-6, 56, but Ismail instigated a forced conversion to the Shia branch of Islam,WEB, Safavid Empire (1501–1722), BBC Religion, 7 September 2009,weblink 20 June 2011, spreading throughout the Safavid territories in the Caucasus, Iran, Anatolia, and Mesopotamia. As a result, modern-day Iran is the only official Shia nation of the world, with it holding an absolute majority in Iran and the Republic of Azerbaijan, having there the first and the second highest number of Shia inhabitants by population percentage in the world.Juan Eduardo Campo, Encyclopedia of Islam, p.625BOOK, Shirin Akiner, The Caspian: Politics, Energy and Security,weblink 2004, Taylor & Francis, 978-0-203-64167-5, 158, Meanwhile, the centuries-long geopolitical and ideological rivalry between Safavid Iran and the neighboring Ottoman Empire led to numerous Ottoman–Iranian wars.File:Portrait of Safavid ruler Abbas I.jpg|thumb|upright|left|A portrait of Abbas I, the powerful, pragmatic Safavid ruler who reinforced Iran's military, political, and economic power.]]The Safavid era peaked in the reign of Abbas I (1587–1629),BOOK, Hala Mundhir Fattah, Frank Caso, A Brief History of Iraq,weblink 2009, Infobase Publishing, 978-0-8160-5767-2, 126–, surpassing their Turkish archrivals in strength, and making Iran a leading science and art hub in western Eurasia. The Safavid era saw the start of mass integration from Caucasian populations into new layers of the society of Iran, as well as mass resettlement of them within the heartlands of Iran, playing a pivotal role in the history of Iran for centuries onwards. Following a gradual decline in the late 1600s and the early 1700s, which was caused by internal conflicts, the continuous wars with the Ottomans, and the foreign interference (most notably the Russian interference), the Safavid rule was ended by the Pashtun rebels who besieged Isfahan and defeated Sultan Husayn in 1722.In 1729, Nader Shah, a chieftain and military genius from Khorasan, successfully drove out and conquered the Pashtun invaders. He subsequently took back the annexed Caucasian territories which were divided among the Ottoman and Russian authorities by the ongoing chaos in Iran. During the reign of Nader Shah, Iran reached its greatest extent since the Sasanian Empire, reestablishing the Iranian hegemony all over the Caucasus, as well as other major parts of the west and central Asia, and briefly possessing what was arguably the most powerful empire at the time.File:Mooze Naderi.jpg|thumb|Statue of Nader Shah, the powerful Afsharid ruler, at Naderi Museum.]]Nader Shah invaded India and sacked far off Delhi by the late 1730s. His territorial expansion, as well as his military successes, went into a decline following the final campaigns in the Northern Caucasus against then revolting Lezgins. The assassination of Nader Shah sparked a brief period of civil war and turmoil, after which Karim Khan of the Zand dynasty came to power in 1750, bringing a period of relative peace and prosperity.Compared to its preceding dynasties, the geopolitical reach of the Zand dynasty was limited. Many of the Iranian territories in the Caucasus gained de facto autonomy, and were locally ruled through various Caucasian khanates. However, despite the self-ruling, they all remained subjects and vassals to the Zand king.Encyclopedia of Soviet law By Ferdinand Joseph Maria Feldbrugge, Gerard Pieter van den Berg, William B. Simons, Page 457 Another civil war ensued after the death of Karim Khan in 1779, out of which Agha Mohammad Khan emerged, founding the Qajar dynasty in 1794. In 1795, following the disobedience of the Georgian subjects and their alliance with the Russians, the Qajars captured Tbilisi by the Battle of Krtsanisi, and drove the Russians out of the entire Caucasus, reestablishing the Iranian suzerainty over the region.

From the 1800s to the 1940s

File:Gulistan-Treaty.jpg|thumb|left|A map showing the 19th-century northwestern borders of Iran, comprising modern-day eastern Georgia, Dagestan, Armenia, and the Republic of Azerbaijan, before being ceded to the neighboring Russian Empire by the Russo-Iranian wars.]]The Russo-Iranian wars of 1804–1813 and 1826–1828 resulted in large irrevocable territorial losses for Iran in the Caucasus, comprising all of Transcaucasia and Dagestan, which made part of the very concept of Iran for centuries,{{sfn|Fisher|Avery|Hambly|Melville|1991|pp=329–330}} and thus substantial gains for the neighboring Russian Empire.As a result of the 19th-century Russo-Iranian wars, the Russians took over the Caucasus, and Iran irrevocably lost control over its integral territories in the region (comprising modern-day Dagestan, Georgia, Armenia, and Republic of Azerbaijan), which got confirmed per the treaties of Gulistan and Turkmenchay.Farrokh, Kaveh. Iran at War: 1500–1988. {{ISBN|1-78096-221-5}} The area to the north of Aras River, among which the contemporary Republic of Azerbaijan, eastern Georgia, Dagestan, and Armenia are located, were Iranian territory until they were occupied by Russia in the course of the 19th century.BOOK, Swietochowski, Tadeusz, Tadeusz Swietochowski, 1995, Russia and Azerbaijan: A Borderland in Transition, 69, 133, Columbia University Press,weblink 978-0-231-07068-3, BOOK, L. Batalden, Sandra, 1997, The newly independent states of Eurasia: handbook of former Soviet republics, 98, Greenwood Publishing Group,weblink 978-0-89774-940-4, BOOK, E. Ebel, Robert, Menon, Rajan, 2000, Energy and conflict in Central Asia and the Caucasus, 181, Rowman & Littlefield,weblink 978-0-7425-0063-1, BOOK, Andreeva, Elena, 2010, Russia and Iran in the great game: travelogues and orientalism, 6, reprint, Taylor & Francis,weblink 978-0-415-78153-4, BOOK, Çiçek, Kemal, Kuran, Ercüment, 2000, The Great Ottoman-Turkish Civilisation, University of Michigan,weblink 978-975-6782-18-7, BOOK, Ernest Meyer, Karl, Blair Brysac, Shareen, 2006, Tournament of Shadows: The Great Game and the Race for Empire in Central Asia, 66, Basic Books,weblink 978-0-465-04576-1, As Iran shrank, many Transcaucasian and North Caucasian Muslims moved towards Iran,BOOK, Mansoori, Firooz, Studies in History, Language and Culture of Azerbaijan, 2008, Hazar-e Kerman, Tehran, 978-600-90271-1-8, 245, 17, fa, А. Г. Булатова. Лакцы (XIX — нач. XX вв.). Историко-этнографические очерки. — Махачкала, 2000. especially until the aftermath of the Circassian Genocide, and the decades afterwards, while Iran's Armenians were encouraged to settle in the newly incorporated Russian territories,"Griboedov not only extended protection to those Caucasian captives who sought to go home but actively promoted the return of even those who did not volunteer. Large numbers of Georgian and Armenian captives had lived in Iran since 1804 or as far back as 1795." Fisher, William Bayne; Avery, Peter; Gershevitch, Ilya; Hambly, Gavin; Melville, Charles. The Cambridge History of Iran, Cambridge University Press – 1991. p. 339{{ru icon}} A. S. Griboyedov. "Записка о переселеніи армянъ изъ Персіи въ наши области" {{webarchive|url= |date=13 January 2016 }}, Фундаментальная Электронная БиблиотекаBournoutian. Armenian People, p. 105 causing significant demographic shifts.Around 1.5 million people—20 to 25% of the population of Iran—died as a result of the Great Famine of 1870–1871.BOOK, Yeroushalmi, David, The Jews of Iran in the Nineteenth Century: Aspects of History, Community,weblink Brill, 2009, 327, 978-90-04-15288-5, File:Parliamenttehran1906.jpg|thumb|The first national Iranian Parliament was established in 1906.]]Between 1872 and 1905, a series of protests took place in response to the sale of concessions to foreigners by Qajar monarchs Naser-ed-Din and Mozaffar-ed-Din, and led to the Constitutional Revolution in 1905. The first Iranian constitution and the first national parliament of Iran were founded in 1906, through the ongoing revolution. The Constitution included the official recognition of Iran's three religious minorities, namely Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians,Colin Brock, Lila Zia Levers. Aspects of Education in the Middle East and Africa Symposium Books Ltd., 7 mei 2007 {{ISBN|1-873927-21-5}} p. 99 which has remained a basis in the legislation of Iran since then. The struggle related to the constitutional movement was followed by the Triumph of Tehran in 1909, when Mohammad Ali Shah was defeated and forced to abdicate. On the pretext of restoring order, the Russians occupied northern Iran in 1911 and maintained a military presence in the region for years to come. But this did not put an end to the civil uprisings and was soon followed by Mirza Kuchik Khan's Jungle Movement against both the Qajar monarchy and foreign invaders.File:Reza-shah.jpg|thumb|left|upright|Reza ShahReza ShahDuring World War I, the British occupied much of the territory of western Iran, and fully withdrew in 1921. Meanwhile, a famine in northern Iran killed between eight and 10 million people. The Persian Campaign commenced furthermore in northwestern Iran after an Ottoman invasion, as part of the Middle Eastern theatre of World War I. In the course of the Assyrian Genocide of 1914–1920 and the Armenian Genocide of 1915–1917, a large number of Iranian Assyrians and Armenians were subjected to mass murders committed by the Ottoman troops that were crossing the northwestern border, notably in and around Khoy, Maku, Salmas, and Urmia.BOOK, Ryan, Gingeras, Fall of the Sultanate: The Great War and the End of the Ottoman Empire 1908–1922,weblink 18 June 2016, 2016, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 978-0-19-166358-1, 166, By January, Ottoman regulars and cavalry detachments associated with the old Hamidiye had seized the towns of Urmia, Khoy, and Salmas. Demonstrations of resistance by local Christians, comprising Armenians, Nestorians, Syriacs, and Assyrians, led Ottoman forces to massacre civilians and torch villages throughout the border region of Iran., BOOK, Raymond, Kevorkian, Raymond Kévorkian, The Armenian Genocide: A Complete History,weblink 18 June 2016, 2011, I.B. Tauris, 978-0-85773-020-6, 710, 'In retaliation, we killed the Armenians of Khoy, and I gave the order to massacre the Armenians of Maku.' ... Without distorting the facts, one can affirm that the centuries-old Armenian presence in the regions of Urmia, Salmast, Qaradagh, and Maku had been dealt a blow from which it would never recover., JOURNAL, Yeghiayan, Vartkes, British Foreign Office Dossiers on Turkish War Criminals, 1991, American Armenian International College, ... Assyrians who were killed in Khoy, some 700 Armenian residents of Khoy were also massacred at the same time, June 1918., BOOK, Richard G., Hovannisian,weblink The Armenian Genocide: Cultural and Ethical Legacies, 270–271, Transaction Publishers, 2011, 978-1-4128-3592-3, BOOK, Alexander Laban, Hinton, Thomas, La Pointe, Douglas, Irvin-Erickson,weblink Hidden Genocides: Power, Knowledge, Memory, 117, Rutgers University Press, 2013, 978-0-8135-6164-6, Apart from the rule of Agha Mohammad Khan, the Qajar rule is characterized as a century of misrule. The Iranian Cossack Brigade, which was the most effective military force available to the crown, began a military coup supported by the British in February 1921. The Qajar dynasty was subsequently overthrown, and Reza Khan, the former general of the Cossack Brigade, became the new Prime Minister of Iran. Eventually, he was declared the new monarch in 1925—thence known as Reza Shah—establishing the Pahlavi dynasty.In the midst of World War II, in 1941, Nazi Germany launched Operation Barbarossa and invaded the Soviet Union, breaking the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. This had a major impact on Iran, which had declared neutrality in the conflicts.BOOK,weblink Iran: A Country Study, Glenn E. Curtis, Eric Hooglund, US Government Printing Office, 978-0-8444-1187-3, 30, U.S. Government Printing Office, 2008, Later that year, following an Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran, Reza Shah was forced to abdicate in favor of his son, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.BOOK,weblink An Introduction to the Modern Middle East: History, Religion, Political Economy, Politics, David S. Sorenson, 978-0-8133-4922-0, 206, Westview Press, 2013, BOOK,weblink Iran: Foreign Policy & Government Guide, 978-0-7397-9354-1, 53, International Business Publications, 2009, Subsequently, Iran became a major conduit for British and American aid to the Soviet Union, until the end of the ongoing war.BOOK,weblink United States Army in World War II the Middle East Theater the Persian Corridor and Aid to Russia, T.H. Vail Motter, United States Army Center of Military History, CMH, 1952, File:Teheran conference-1943.jpg|thumb|right|The Allied "Big Three" at the 1943 Tehran ConferenceTehran ConferenceAt the 1943 Tehran Conference, the Allied "Big Three"—Joseph Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Winston Churchill—issued the Tehran Declaration to guarantee the post-war independence and boundaries of Iran. However, at the end of the war, Soviet troops remained in Iran and local pro-Soviet groups established two puppet states in north-western Iran, namely the People's Government of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Mahabad. Receiving a promise of oil concessions, the Soviets withdrew from Iran proper in May 1946. The two puppet states were soon overthrown following the Iran crisis of 1946, and the oil concessions were revoked.Louise Fawcett, "Revisiting the Iranian Crisis of 1946: How Much More Do We Know?." Iranian Studies 47#3 (2014): 379–399.Gary R. Hess, "the Iranian Crisis of 1945–46 and the Cold War." Political Science Quarterly 89#1 (1974): 117–146. weblink" title="">online

Contemporary era

File:Mossadeghmohammad.jpg|thumb|upright|Mohammad Mosaddegh, Iranian democracy advocate and deposed Prime Minister ]]In 1951, Mohammad Mosaddegh was appointed as the Prime Minister. He became enormously popular in Iran after he nationalized Iran's petroleum industry and oil reserves. He was deposed in the 1953 Iranian coup d'état, an Anglo-American covert operation that marked the first time the United States had participated in the overthrow of a foreign government during the Cold War.BOOK, Stephen Kinzer, All the Shah's Men,weblink 21 June 2013, 2011, John Wiley & Sons, 978-1-118-14440-4, 10, File:Mohammad Pahlavi Coronation (cropped version).jpg|thumb|left|Mohammad Reza PahlaviMohammad Reza PahlaviAfter the coup, the Shah became increasingly autocratic and sultanistic, and Iran entered a phase of decades-long controversial close relations with the United States and some other foreign governments.Nikki R. Keddie, Rudolph P Matthee. Iran and the Surrounding World: Interactions in Culture and Cultural Politics University of Washington Press, 2002 p. 366 While the Shah increasingly modernized Iran and claimed to retain it as a fully secular state, arbitrary arrests and torture by his secret police, the SAVAK, were used to crush all forms of political opposition.JOURNAL, Baraheni, Reza, Terror in Iran, The New York Review of Books, October 28, 1976,weblink Ruhollah Khomeini, a radical Muslim cleric, became an active critic of the Shah's far-reaching series of reforms known as the White Revolution. Khomeini publicly denounced the government, and was arrested and imprisoned for 18 months. After his release in 1964, he refused to apologize, and was eventually sent into exile.Due to the 1973 spike in oil prices, the economy of Iran was flooded with foreign currency, which caused inflation. By 1974, the economy of Iran was experiencing double digit inflation, and despite the many large projects to modernize the country, corruption was rampant and caused large amounts of waste. By 1975 and 1976, an economic recession led to increased unemployment, especially among millions of youth who had migrated to the cities of Iran looking for construction jobs during the boom years of the early 1970s. By the late 1970s, many of these people opposed the Shah's regime and began to organize and join the protests against it.BOOK, Elizabeth Shakman Hurd, The Politics of Secularism in International Relations,weblink 2009, Princeton University Press, 978-1-4008-2801-2, 75, 17 August 2016, File:Imam Khomeini in Mehrabad.jpg|thumb|upright|Ruhollah Khomeini's return to IranRuhollah Khomeini's return to IranThe 1979 Revolution, later known as the Islamic Revolution,WEB,weblink Islamic Revolution of 1979,, 18 June 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 29 June 2011, ENCYCLOPEDIA,weblink Islamic Revolution of Iran, Encarta, 19 June 2011,weblink" title="">weblink 28 October 2009, dead, dmy, Fereydoun Hoveyda, The Shah and the Ayatollah: Iranian Mythology and Islamic Revolution {{ISBN|0-275-97858-3}}, Praeger Publishers began in January 1978 with the first major demonstrations against the Shah.WEB,weblink The Iranian Revolution,, 22 March 1963, 18 June 2011, After a year of strikes and demonstrations paralyzing the country and its economy, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi fled to the United States, and Ruhollah Khomeini returned from exile to Tehran in February 1979, forming a new government.NEWS, BBC On this Day Feb 1 1979,weblink 25 November 2014, BBC, After holding a referendum, Iran officially became an Islamic republic in April 1979.BOOK, Lori A. Johnson, Kathleen Uradnik, Sara Beth Hower, Battleground: Government and Politics [2 volumes]: Government and Politics,weblink 2011, ABC-CLIO, 978-0-313-34314-8, 319, A second referendum in December 1979 approved a theocratic constitution.BOOK, Jahangir Amuzegar, The Dynamics of the Iranian Revolution: The Pahlavis' Triumph and Tragedy,weblink 22 June 2013, 1991, SUNY Press, 978-0-7914-9483-7, 4, 9–12, The immediate nationwide uprisings against the new government began with the 1979 Kurdish rebellion and the Khuzestan uprisings, along with the uprisings in Sistan and Baluchestan and other areas. Over the next several years, these uprisings were subdued in a violent manner by the new Islamic government. The new government began purging itself of the non-Islamist political opposition, as well as of those Islamists who were not considered radical enough. Although both nationalists and Marxists had initially joined with Islamists to overthrow the Shah, tens of thousands were executed by the new regime afterwards.BOOK, Cheryl Benard, "The Government of God": Iran's Islamic Republic,weblink 21 June 2013, 1984, Columbia University Press, 978-0-231-05376-1, 18, Many former ministers and officials in the Shah's government, including former prime minister Amir-Abbas Hoveyda, were brutally shot dead by firing squads on Khomeini's order to purge the new government of any remaining officials still loyal to the exiled Shah.On 4 November 1979, a group of Muslim students seized the United States Embassy and took the embassy with 52 personnel and citizens hostage,WEB,weblink American Experience, Jimmy Carter, "444 Days: America Reacts",, 18 June 2011, after the United States refused to extradite Mohammad Reza Pahlavi to Iran, where his execution was all but assured. Attempts by the Jimmy Carter administration to negotiate for the release of the hostages, and a failed rescue attempt, helped force Carter out of office and brought Ronald Reagan to power. On Jimmy Carter's final day in office, the last hostages were finally set free as a result of the Algiers Accords. Mohammad Reza Pahlavi left the United States for Egypt, where he died of complications from cancer only months later, on July 27, 1980.The Cultural Revolution began in 1980, with an initial closure of universities for three years, in order to perform an inspection and clean up in the cultural policy of the education and training system.Supreme Cultural Revolution Council GlobalSecurity.orgFile:Chemical weapon1.jpg|thumb|left|Iranian soldier with chemical mask at front-line of the Iran–Iraq WarIran–Iraq WarOn 22 September 1980, the Iraqi army (Iran–Iraq War#1980: Iraqi invasion|invaded the western Iranian province of Khuzestan), launching the Iran–Iraq War. Although the forces of Saddam Hussein made several early advances, by mid 1982, the Iranian forces successfully managed to (Iran–Iraq War#1982: Iraqi retreat, Iranian offensive|drive the Iraqi army back) into Iraq. In July 1982, with Iraq thrown on the defensive, the regime of Iran took the decision to invade Iraq and conducted countless offensives in a bid to conquer Iraqi territory and capture cities, such as Basra. The war continued until 1988 when the Iraqi army defeated the Iranian forces inside Iraq and pushed the remaining Iranian troops back across the border. Subsequently, Khomeini accepted a truce mediated by the United Nations. The total Iranian casualties in the war were estimated to be 123,220–160,000 KIA, 60,711 MIA, and 11,000–16,000 civilians killed.BOOK, Hiro, Dilip, Dilip Hiro, The Longest War: The Iran-Iraq Military Conflict, Routledge, New York, 1991, 205, 978-0-415-90406-3, 22347651,weblink BOOK, Abrahamian, Ervand, Ervand Abrahamian, A History of Modern Iran, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK; New York, 2008, 171–175, 212, 978-0-521-52891-7, 171111098, File:3rd Day - The Green Protest Rally.jpg|thumb|right|The Green Movement's Silent Demonstration during the 2009–10 Iranian election protests ]]Following the Iran–Iraq War, in 1989, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and his administration concentrated on a pragmatic pro-business policy of rebuilding and strengthening the economy without making any dramatic break with the ideology of the revolution. In 1997, Rafsanjani was succeeded by moderate reformist Mohammad Khatami, whose government attempted, unsuccessfully, to make the country more free and democratic.NEWS, Dan De Luce in Tehran,weblink Khatami blames clerics for failure, The Guardian, 4 May 2004, 25 August 2010, London, The 2005 presidential election brought conservative populist candidate, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to power.NEWS,weblink Iran hardliner becomes president, 6 December 2006, 3 August 2005, BBC, By the time of the 2009 Iranian presidential election, the Interior Ministry announced incumbent President Ahmadinejad had won 62.63% of the vote, while Mir-Hossein Mousavi had come in second place with 33.75%.WEB,weblink fa:نتایج نهایی دهمین دورهٔ انتخابات ریاست جمهوری, Ministry of Interior (Iran), Ministry of Interior of Iran, Persian, 13 June 2009, 27 June 2009, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 18 June 2009, WEB,weblink Ahmadinejad wins surprise Iran landslide victory, The Guardian, Ian Black, 29 November 2015, The election results were widely disputed,NEWS,weblink Iran clerics defy election ruling, BBC News, 5 July 2009, 18 June 2011, WEB,weblink Is this government legitimate?, BBC, 7 September 2009, 18 June 2011, and resulted in widespread protests, both within Iran and in major cities outside the country,WEB, Landry, Carole,weblink G8 calls on Iran to halt election violence, 25 June 2009, 18 June 2011, NEWS,weblink London, The Guardian, Robert, Tait, Ian, Black, Mark, Tran, Iran protests: Fifth day of unrest as regime cracks down on critics, 17 June 2009, and the creation of the Iranian Green Movement.Hassan Rouhani was elected as the president on 15 June 2013, defeating Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf and four other candidates.NEWS,weblink Hassan Rouhani wins Iran presidential election, 15 June 2013, 15 June 2013, BBC News, NEWS,weblink Moderate Candidate Wins Iran's Presidential Vote, 15 June 2013, 16 June 2013, The Wall Street Journal, Farnaz, Fassihi, The electoral victory of Rouhani has relatively improved the relations of Iran with other countries.BOOK, Strategic Asia 2013–14: Asia in the Second Nuclear Age, 229, Denmark, Abraham M., Tanner, Travis, 2013,


{{See also|Agriculture in Iran|Environmental issues in Iran}}File:Damavand3.jpg|thumb|right|Mount Damavand, Iran's highest point, is located in Amol, Mazenderan.]]Iran has an area of {{convert|1648195|km2|mi2|abbr=on}}. It lies between latitudes 24° and 40° N, and longitudes 44° and 64° E. It is bordered to the northwest by Armenia ({{convert|35|km|mi|0|abbr=on|disp=or}}), the Azeri exclave of Nakhchivan ({{convert|179|km|mi|0|abbr=on|disp=or}}),WEB,weblink CIA – The World Factbook,, 7 April 2012, and the Republic of Azerbaijan ({{convert|611|km|mi|0|abbr=on|disp=or}}); to the north by the Caspian Sea; to the northeast by Turkmenistan ({{convert|992|km|mi|0|abbr=on|disp=or}}); to the east by Afghanistan ({{convert|936|km|mi|0|abbr=on|disp=or}}) and Pakistan ({{convert|909|km|mi|0|abbr=on|disp=or}}); to the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman; and to the west by Iraq ({{convert|1458|km|mi|0|abbr=on|disp=or}}) and Turkey ({{convert|499|km|mi|0|abbr=on|disp=or}}).Iran consists of the Iranian Plateau, with the exception of the coasts of the Caspian Sea and Khuzestan. It is one of the world's most mountainous countries, its landscape dominated by rugged mountain ranges that separate various basins or plateaux from one another. The populous western part is the most mountainous, with ranges such as the Caucasus, Zagros, and Alborz, the last containing Mount Damavand, Iran's highest point at {{convert|5610|m|ft|0|abbr=on}}, which is also the highest mountain in Asia west of the Hindu Kush.The northern part of Iran is covered by the lush lowland Caspian Hyrcanian mixed forests, located near the southern shores of the Caspian Sea. The eastern part consists mostly of desert basins, such as the Kavir Desert, which is the country's largest desert, and the Lut Desert, as well as some salt lakes.The only large plains are found along the coast of the Caspian Sea and at the northern end of the Persian Gulf, where the country borders the mouth of the Arvand river. Smaller, discontinuous plains are found along the remaining coast of the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz, and the Gulf of Oman.Kados maklawany.jpg|Caspian forests in Maklavan, Gilan.Sherez-kohdasht-696x522.jpg|Shirz Canyon, Lurestan.Sand castles - Dasht-e Lut desert - Kerman.JPG|Lut Desert, Sistan.Khezr Beach, Hormuz Island.jpg|Hormuz Island, Persian Gulf.


File:Koppen-Geiger Map IRN present.svg|thumb|Climate map of Iran (Köppen-Geiger){| style="width:100%;"{{legendDesert climate#Hot desert climates}}{{legend>#FE9695Desert climate#Cold desert climates>Cold desert climate}}{{legendSemi-arid climate#Hot semi-arid climates}}{{legend>#FFDB63Semi-arid climate#Cold semi-arid climates>Cold semi-arid climate}}{{legendHot-summer Mediterranean climate}}{{legendContinental Mediterranean climate}}]]Having 11 climates out of the world's 13, Iran's climate is diverse,WEB,weblink Geographical Data, 23, Scientific Information Database, 2014, ranging from arid and semi-arid, to subtropical along the Caspian coast and the northern forests.BOOK, Kiyanoosh Kiyani Haftlang, Kiyānūsh Kiyānī Haft Lang, The Book of Iran: A Survey of the Geography of Iran,weblink 2003, Alhoda UK, 978-964-94491-3-5, 17, On the northern edge of the country (the Caspian coastal plain), temperatures rarely fall below freezing and the area remains humid for the rest of the year. Summer temperatures rarely exceed {{convert|29|°C|°F|1}}.WEB,weblink Weather and Climate: Iran, average monthly Rainfall, Sunshine, Temperature, Humidity, Wind Speed, World Weather and Climate Information, 29 November 2015, dead,weblink 22 September 2015, Annual precipitation is {{convert|680|mm|in|1|abbr=on}} in the eastern part of the plain and more than {{convert|1700|mm|in|1|abbr=on}} in the western part. Gary Lewis, the United Nations Resident Coordinator for Iran, has said that "Water scarcity poses the most severe human security challenge in Iran today".NEWS,weblink Farming reforms offer hope for Iran's water crisis, Moghtader, Michelle, 3 August 2014, Reuters, 4 August 2014, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 7 August 2014, To the west, settlements in the Zagros basin experience lower temperatures, severe winters with below zero average daily temperatures and heavy snowfall. The eastern and central basins are arid, with less than {{convert|200|mm|in|1|abbr=on}} of rain, and have occasional deserts.BOOK, Sharon E. Nicholson, Dryland Climatology,weblink 2011, Cambridge University Press, 978-1-139-50024-1, 367, Average summer temperatures rarely exceed {{convert|38|°C|1}}.BOOK, R. Nagarajan, Drought Assessment,weblink 2010, Springer Science & Business Media, 978-90-481-2500-5, 383, The coastal plains of the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman in southern Iran have mild winters, and very humid and hot summers. The annual precipitation ranges from {{convert|135|to|355|mm|in|1|abbr=on}}.


{{See also|Wildlife of Iran}}File:Kooshki (Iranian Cheetah) 05.jpg|thumb|left|The Asiatic cheetah, a critically endangered species living only in Iran.]]The wildlife of Iran is composed of several animal species, including bears, the Eurasian lynx, foxes, gazelles, gray wolves, jackals, panthers, and wild pigs.BOOK, April Fast, Iran: The Land,weblink 2005, Crabtree Publishing Company, 978-0-7787-9315-1, 31, BOOK, Eskandar Firouz, The Complete Fauna of Iran,weblink 2005, I.B. Tauris, 978-1-85043-946-2, Other domestic animals of Iran include Asian water buffaloes, camels, cattle, donkeys, goats, horses, and the sheep. Eagles, falcons, partridges, pheasants, and storks are also native to the wildlife of Iran.One of the most famous members of the Iranian wildlife is the critically endangered Asiatic cheetah, also known as the Iranian cheetah, whose numbers were greatly reduced after the 1979 Revolution.BOOK, Grazia Borrini-Feyerabend, M. Taghi Farvar, Yves Renard, Michel P Pimbert, Ashish Kothari, Sharing Power: A Global Guide to Collaborative Management of Natural Resources,weblink 2013, Routledge, 978-1-136-55742-2, 120, The Persian leopard, which is the world's largest leopard subspecies living primarily in northern Iran, is also listed as an endangered species.{{IUCN |assessor=Khorozyan, I. |year=2008 |id=15961 |taxon=Panthera pardus ssp. saxicolor |version=2015-4}} Iran lost all its Asiatic lions and the now extinct Caspian tigers by the earlier part of the 20th century.BOOK, Guggisberg, C.A.W., 1961, Simba: The Life of the Lion, Howard Timmins, Cape Town, At least 74 species of the Iranian wildlife are on the red list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, a sign of serious threats against the country's biodiversity. The Iranian Parliament has been showing disregard for wildlife by passing laws and regulations such as the act that lets the Ministry of Industries and Mines exploit mines without the involvement of the Department of Environment, and by approving large national development projects without demanding comprehensive study of their impact on wildlife habitats.WEB,weblink 74 Iranian wildlife species red-listed by Environment Department,, 26 August 2015, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 20 May 2015, {{anchor|Provinces and cities|Regions, provinces and cities|Subdivisions|Administrative divisions}}

Administrative divisions

{{See also|List of Iranian cities by population}}{| class="wikitable floatright"float=right}}Iran is divided into five regions with thirty-one provinces (ostān),NEWS, 22 June 2014, همشهری آنلاین-استان‌های کشور به Ûµ منطقه تقسیم شدند (Provinces were divided into 5 regions), Persian, Hamshahri Online,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 23 June 2014, live, each governed by an appointed governor (ostāndār). The provinces are divided into counties (Å¡ahrestān), and subdivided into districts (baxÅ¡) and sub-districts (dehestān).The country has one of the highest urban growth rates in the world. From 1950 to 2002, the urban proportion of the population increased from 27% to 60%.WEB,weblink Iran: Focus on reverse migration, Payvand, 17 April 2006, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 26 March 2006, The United Nations predicts that by 2030, 80% of the population will be urban.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 10 November 2007, Islamic Azad University". Retrieved 28 January 2008, 10 November 2007, 21 June 2013, {{Failed verification|date=June 2013}} Most internal migrants have settled around the cities of Tehran, Isfahan, Ahvaz, and Qom. The listed populations are from the 2006/07 (1385 AP) census.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 10 November 2007, Iranian National Portal of Statistics, 10 November 2007, 21 June 2013, {{Failed verification|date=June 2013}}(File:The most populated cities of iran.svg|thumb|Iran's most populated cities (2010)|left)Tehran, with a population of around 8.8 million (2016 census), is the capital and largest city of Iran. It is an economical and cultural center, and is the hub of the country's communication and transport network.The country's second most populous city, Mashhad, has a population of around 3.3 million (2016 census), and is capital of the province of Razavi Khorasan. Being the site of the Imam Reza Shrine, it is a holy city in Shia Islam. About 15 to 20 million pilgrims visit the shrine every year.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 9 March 2005, Religious Tourism Potentials Rich, Iran Daily, WEB,weblink Mashhad, Iran,, 18 June 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 27 November 2010, Isfahan has a population of around 2.2 million (2016 census), and is Iran's third most populous city. It is the capital of the province of Isfahan, and was also the third capital of the Safavid Empire. It is home to a wide variety of historical sites, including the famous Shah Square, Siosepol, and the churches at the Armenian district of New Julfa. It is also home to the world's seventh largest shopping mall, Isfahan City Center.The fourth most populous city of Iran, Karaj, has a population of around 1.9 million (2016 census). It is the capital of the province of Alborz, and is situated 20 km west of Tehran, at the foot of the Alborz mountain range. It is a major industrial city in Iran, with large factories producing sugar, textiles, wire, and alcohol.With a population of around 1.7 million (2016 census), Tabriz is the fifth most populous city of Iran, and had been the second most populous until the late 1960s. It was the first capital of the Safavid Empire, and is now the capital of the province of East Azerbaijan. It is also considered the country's second major industrial city (after Tehran).Shiraz, with a population of around 1.8 million (2016 census), is Iran's sixth most populous city. It is the capital of the province of Fars, and was also the capital of Iran under the reign of the Zand dynasty. It is located near the ruins of Persepolis and Pasargadae, two of the four capitals of the Achaemenid Empire.{{Largest cities of Iran}}{{clear}}

Government and politics

(File:Iran gov power structure.svg|thumb|Iran's syncretic political system combines elements of an Islamic theocracy with vetted democracy.)The political system of the Islamic Republic is based on the 1979 Constitution.WEB,weblink Constitution of Iran, University of Berne, University of Bern, Switzerland, According to international reports, Iran's human rights record is exceptionally poor. The regime in Iran is undemocratic,WEB,weblink Democracy Index 2017 : Free Speech Under Attack, 30 January 2018,, 24 February 2018, WEB,weblink 3 May 2018, World Affairs Institute, Totten, Michael J., Michael Totten, 16 February 2016, No, Iran is Not a Democracy, Dispatches, bot: unknown,weblink" title="">weblink 4 May 2018, dmy-all, has frequently persecuted and arrested critics of the government and its Supreme Leader, and severely restricts the participation of candidates in popular elections as well as other forms of political activity.WEB, Schmidt, Patrick, Iran's Election Procedures,weblink The Washington Institute, 30 September 2018, WEB, Bezhan, Frud, Explainer: Iran's Process For Vetting Presidential Candidates,weblink Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 30 September 2018, Women's rights in Iran are described as seriously inadequate,WEB, Iran: Stop Prosecuting Women Over Dress Code, 2018, Human Rights Watch, 18 March 2018,weblink and children's rights have been severely violated, with more child offenders being executed in Iran than in any other country in the world.WEB, Iran: Three Child Offenders Executed, 2018, Human Rights Watch,weblink WEB, Iran, Freedom in the World 2017, Freedom House, 2017, Freedom House, 25 May 2017,weblink The Islamic Republic of Iran holds elections regularly, but they fall short of democratic standards due to the role of the hard-line Guardian Council, which disqualifies all candidates deemed insufficiently loyal to the clerical establishment. Ultimate power rests in the hands of the country's Supreme Leader of Iran, supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and the unelected institutions under his control. Human rights abuses continued unabated in 2016, with the authorities carrying out Iran's largest mass execution in years and launching a renewed crackdown on women's rights activists. The regime maintained restrictions on freedom of expression, both offline and online, and made further arrests of journalists, bloggers, labor union activists, and dual nationals visiting the country, with some facing heavy prison sentences. Hard-liners in control of powerful institutions, including the judiciary and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), were behind many of the year's abuses. There were no indications that President Hassan Rouhani, a self-proclaimed moderate seeking reelection in 2017, was willing or able to push back against repressive forces and deliver the greater social freedoms he had promised. Opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi, his wife Zahra Rahnavard, and reformist cleric Mehdi Karroubi remained under house arrest for a sixth year without being formally charged or put on trial. As in 2015, the media were barred from quoting or reporting on former president Mohammad Khatami, another important reformist figure., Sexual activity between members of the same sex is illegal and is punishable by up to death.NEWS, Daniel, Avery, 71 Countries Where Homosexuality is Illegal,weblink Newsweek, 4 April 2019, NEWS, Iran defends execution of gay people,weblink Deutsche Welle, 12 June 2019, Since the 2000s, Iran's controversial nuclear program has raised concerns, which is part of the basis of the international sanctions against the country. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, an agreement reached between Iran and the P5+1, was created on 14 July 2015, aimed to loosen the nuclear sanctions in exchange for Iran's restriction in producing enriched uranium.

Supreme Leader

File:Ali Khamenei receives Xi Jinping in his house (7).jpg|thumbnail|Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran, meeting with Chinese President Xi JinpingXi JinpingThe Leader of the Revolution ("Supreme Leader") is responsible for delineation and supervision of the policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran.WEB,weblink Leadership in the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran,, 21 June 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 12 June 2013, The Iranian president has limited power compared to the Supreme Leader Khamenei.WEB,weblink In jab at rivals, Rouhani says Iran protests about more than economy, 8 January 2018, Reuters, The current longtime Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, has been issuing decrees and making the final decisions on the economy, environment, foreign policy, education, national plannings, and everything else in the country.WEB,weblink Khamenei Orders New Supervisory Body to Curtail Government – ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive, Asharq, Al-awsat, 25 September 2017, WEB,weblink Iran's Khamenei hits out at Rafsanjani in rare public rebuke, Middle East Eye, WEB,weblink Khamenei says Iran must go green – Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East, Al-Monitor, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 22 December 2015, dmy-all, WEB,weblink Exclusive: Iran pursues ballistic missile work, complicating nuclear talks, Louis Charbonneau and Parisa Hafezi, 16 May 2014, Reuters, WEB,weblink IranWire– Asking for a Miracle: Khamenei's Economic Plan, {{cit web |url= |title=Khamenei slams Rouhani as Iran's regime adopted UN education agenda |author=The Baghdad Post |date=8 May 2017}} Khamenei also outlines elections guidelines and urges for the transparency, and has fired and reinstated presidential cabinet appointments.WEB,weblink BBC NEWS – Middle East – Iranian vice-president 'sacked', BBC, Key ministers are selected with the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's agreement and he has the ultimate say on Iran's foreign policy. The president-elect is required to gain the Leader Khamenei's official approval before being sworn in before the Parliament (Majlis). Through this process, known as Tanfiz (validation), the Leader agrees to the outcome of the presidential election.WEB,weblink PressTV-Leader endorses Rouhani as Iran's president, The Supreme Leader is directly involved in ministerial appointments for Defense, Intelligence and Foreign Affairs, as well as other top ministries after submission of candidates from the president.BOOK, Paolo Magri, Annalisa Perteghella, Post-Vote Iran: Giving engagement a chance,weblink 2017, Ledizioni, 978-88-6705-653-8, 58–61, Iran's regional policy is directly controlled by the office of the Supreme Leader with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' task limited to protocol and ceremonial occasions. All of Iran's ambassadors to Arab countries, for example, are chosen by the Quds Corps, which directly reports to the Supreme Leader. The budget bill for every year, as well as withdrawing money from the National Development Fund of Iran, require Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's approval and permission.WEB,weblink PressTV-'Leader OK's $150mn to fight air pollution in SW Iran', The Supreme Leader Khamenei can and did order laws to be amended.NEWS,weblink Khamenei orders controversial retirement law amended, Al-Monitor, 5 December 2018, 12 December 2018, Setad, estimated at $95 billion in 2013 by the Reuters, accounts of which are secret even to the Iranian parliament,WEB,weblink Reuters Investigates – Assets of the Ayatollah, Reuters, 8 January 2018, WEB,weblink Opinion – Finding the Way Forward on Iran, Bret, Stephens, 6 January 2018,, live,weblink 6 January 2018, dmy-all, is controlled only by the Supreme Leader.WEB,weblink Listen to what Iran protesters are really saying, Hamid Yazdan, Panah, NEWS,weblink Exclusive: Khamenei's business empire gains from Iran sanctions relief, Reuters, Steve Stecklow, Babak Dehghanpisheh, 22 January 2014, 14 January 2018, The Supreme Leader is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, controls the military intelligence and security operations, and has sole power to declare war or peace. The heads of the judiciary, the state radio and television networks, the commanders of the police and military forces, and six of the 12 members of the Guardian Council are directly appointed by the Supreme Leader.The Assembly of Experts elects and dismisses (to date, never did) the Supreme Leader on the basis of qualifications and popular esteem.WEB,weblink Iran – The Constitution, Library of Congress, Federal Research Division, 14 April 2006, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 23 September 2006, To date, the Assembly of Experts has not challenged any of the Supreme Leader's decisions. The current head of the judicial system, Sadeq Larijani, appointed by the longtime Supreme Leader, said that it is illegal for the Assembly of Experts to supervise the Supreme Leader.WEB,weblink Controversy in Iran Surrounding the Supervision of the Supreme Leader's Performance – ASHARQ AL-AWSAT, Asharq, Al-awsat, 15 December 2015, 1 July 2016, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 25 June 2016, Due to Khamenei's very longtime unchallenged rule, many believe the Assembly of Experts has become a ceremonial body without any real power.MAGAZINE,weblink Myths and Realities of Iran's Parliamentary Elections, The Atlantic, 2016-02-23, 2017-02-26, WEB,weblink Anomalies in Iran's Assembly of Experts Election – The Washington Institute for Near East Policy,, 2016-03-22, 2017-02-26, WEB,weblink The Islamic Republic Before and After the 2009 Elections,, 2017-02-26, WEB,weblink Archived copy, 2017-06-03, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 4 February 2017, There have been instances when the current Supreme Leader publicly criticized members of the Assembly of Experts, resulting in their arrest and dismissal. For example, Khamenei publicly called then-member of the Assembly of Experts Ahmad Azari Qomi a traitor, resulting in Qomi's arrest and eventual dismissal from the Assembly of Experts. Another instance is when Khamenei indirectly called Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani a traitor for a statement he made, resulting Rafsanjani to retract it.WEB, Arash Karami,weblink Rafsanjani missile tweet draws fire from Khamenei,, 2016-03-31, 2017-02-26,

Guardian Council

Presidential candidates and parliamentary candidates must be approved by the Guardian Council (all members of which are directly or indirectly elected by the Leader) or the Leader before running, in order to ensure their allegiance to the Supreme Leader.BOOK, Chibli Mallat, The Renewal of Islamic Law: Muhammad Baqer As-Sadr, Najaf and the Shi'i International,weblink 21 June 2013, 2004, Cambridge University Press, 978-0-521-53122-1, The Leader very rarely does the vetting himself directly, but has the power to do so, in which case additional approval of the Guardian Council would not be needed. The Leader can also revert the decisions of the Guardian Council.WEB,weblink Iran reverses ban on reformist candidates, Staff and agencies, 24 May 2005, the Guardian, The Guardian Council can, and has dismissed some elected members of the Iranian parliament in the past.WEB,weblink Iran bars female MP for 'shaking hands with unrelated man', Saeed Kamali, Dehghan, 15 April 2016, the Guardian, For example, Minoo Khaleghi was disqualified by Guardian Council even after winning election, as she had been photographed in a meeting without wearing headscarf.WEB,weblink Minoo Khaleghi summoned to court, 15 May 2016,


File:Hassan Rouhani and Vladimir Putin (1).jpg|thumb|Iranian President Hassan Rouhani meeting with Russian President (Vladimir Putin]] – Iran and Russia are strategic allies.WEB,weblink The limits of the Russian-Iranian strategic alliance: its history andgeopolitics, and the nuclear issue, Fatih Özbay, Bulent Aras, yes, March 2008, 24 April 2014, WEB,weblink The Strategic Partnership of Russia and Iran, Ali A. Jalali, Voice of America, Voice of America, Washington, DC, 2001, 24 April 2014, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 24 April 2014, WEB,weblink Russia and Iran: Strategic Partners or Competing Regional Hegemons? A Critical Analysis of Russian-Iranian Relations in the Post-Soviet Space, 2012, 24 April 2014, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 24 April 2014, )After the Supreme Leader, the Constitution defines the President of Iran as the highest state authority.WEB,weblink Iran The Presidency,, 18 June 2011, The President is elected by universal suffrage for a term of four years, however, the president is still required to gain the Leader's official approval before being sworn in before the Parliament (Majlis). The Leader also has the power to dismiss the elected president anytime.WEB,weblink PressTV-Leader endorses Rouhani as Iran's president, The President can only be re-elected for one term.File:Rouhani re-election celebrations in Tehran 3.jpg|thumb|left|Rouhani's supporters celebrate his presidential victory on the streets of Tehran]]The President is responsible for the implementation of the constitution, and for the exercise of executive powers in implementing the decrees and general policies as outlined by the Supreme Leader, except for matters directly related to the Supreme Leader, who has the final say in all matters. Unlike the executive in other countries, the President of Iran does not have full control over anything, as these are ultimately under the control of the Supreme Leader. Chapter IX of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran sets forth the qualifications for presidential candidates. The procedures for presidential election and all other elections in Iran are outlined by the Supreme Leader.NEWS,weblink Leader outlines elections guidelines, calls for transparency, 2016-10-15, Tehran Times, 2017-05-21, en-US, WEB,weblink Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, 23 May 2008, The President functions as the executive of affairs such as signing treaties and other international agreements, and administering national planning, budget, and state employment affairs, all as approved by the Supreme Leader.NEWS,weblink Economic issues Iran's foremost problem: Leader, 2016-08-24, Press TV, 2017-05-21, NEWS,weblink Khamenei outlines 14-point plan to increase population, 2014-05-22, Al-Monitor, 2017-05-21, en-us, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 1 August 2017, dmy-all, WEB,weblink Iran: Executive, legislative branch officials endorse privatization plan,, 2017-05-21, BOOK, Ali Vafadar, The constitution and political change, 1995, 559, The President appoints the ministers, subject to the approval of the Parliament, as well as the approval of the Supreme Leader, who can dismiss or reinstate any of the ministers at any time, regardless of the decisions made by the President or the Parliament.NEWS,weblink Iranian lawmakers warn Ahmadinejad to accept intelligence chief as political feud deepens, CP, 2017-05-21, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 8 August 2017, dmy-all, BOOK, Amir Saeed Vakil, Pouryya Askary, constitution in now law like order, 2004, 362, The President supervises the Council of Ministers, coordinates government decisions, and selects government policies to be placed before the legislature.WEB,weblink Iran – The Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers,, 18 June 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 20 May 2011, The current Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, has fired as well as reinstated Council of Ministers members.NEWS,weblink Iranian lawmakers warn Ahmadinejad to accept intelligence chief as political feud deepens, Ali Akbar Dareini, The Associated Press, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 17 December 2013, dmy-all, NEWS,weblink BBC NEWS – Middle East – Iranian vice-president 'sacked', BBC, Eight Vice Presidents serve under the President, as well as a cabinet of twenty-two ministers, who must all be approved by the legislature.WEB,weblink The Structure of Power in Iran,, 24 June 2005, 18 June 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 5 June 2011,


File:Iranian Majlis.jpg|thumb|The Islamic Consultative AssemblyIslamic Consultative AssemblyThe legislature of Iran, known as the Islamic Consultative Assembly, is a unicameral body comprising 290 members elected for four-year terms.WEB,weblink IFES Election Guide,, 18 June 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 16 June 2011, It drafts legislation, ratifies international treaties, and approves the national budget. All parliamentary candidates and all legislation from the assembly must be approved by the Guardian Council.WEB,weblink Iran – The Council of Guardians,, 18 June 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 20 May 2011, The Guardian Council comprises twelve jurists, including six appointed by the Supreme Leader. Others are elected by the Parliament, from among the jurists nominated by the Head of the Judiciary.WEB,weblink Iran The Council of Guardians,, 18 June 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 24 June 2011, WEB, Manou & Associates Inc.,weblink Iranian Government Constitution, English Text,, 18 June 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 17 June 2011, The Council interprets the constitution and may veto the Parliament. If a law is deemed incompatible with the constitution or Sharia (Islamic law), it is referred back to the Parliament for revision. The Expediency Council has the authority to mediate disputes between the Parliament and the Guardian Council, and serves as an advisory body to the Supreme Leader, making it one of the most powerful governing bodies in the country.NEWS,weblink 3 February 2008, BBC News, Expediency council, Local city councils are elected by public vote to four-year terms in all cities and villages of Iran.


The Supreme Leader appoints the head of the country's judiciary, who in turn appoints the head of the Supreme Court and the chief public prosecutor.WEB,weblink Iran Chamber Society: The Structure of Power in Iran,, 24 June 2005, 18 June 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 5 June 2011, There are several types of courts, including public courts that deal with civil and criminal cases, and revolutionary courts which deal with certain categories of offenses, such as crimes against national security. The decisions of the revolutionary courts are final and cannot be appealed.The Special Clerical Court handles crimes allegedly committed by clerics, although it has also taken on cases involving laypeople. The Special Clerical Court functions independently of the regular judicial framework, and is accountable only to the Supreme Leader. The Court's rulings are final and cannot be appealed. The Assembly of Experts, which meets for one week annually, comprises 86 "virtuous and learned" clerics elected by adult suffrage for eight-year terms.

Foreign relations

File:Iran–Saudi Arabia proxy conflict.png|thumb|left|{{leftlegend|#EC1C24|Major Iran–Saudi Arabia proxy conflictIran–Saudi Arabia proxy conflictThe officially stated goal of the government of Iran is to establish a new world order based on world peace, global collective security, and justice.WEB,weblink Iran urges NAM to make collective bids to establish global peace, PressTV, 26 August 2012, 20 November 2012, bot: unknown,weblink" title="">weblink 27 August 2012, dmy-all, WEB,weblink Archived copy, 2013-08-06, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 30 August 2012, Since the time of the 1979 Revolution, Iran's foreign relations have often been portrayed as being based on two strategic principles; eliminating outside influences in the region, and pursuing extensive diplomatic contacts with developing and non-aligned countries.BOOK, Iran Country Study Guide Volume 1 Strategic Information and Developments, 978-1-4387-7462-6, 141, IBP, 3 March 2012, Since 2005, Iran's nuclear program has become the subject of contention with the international community, mainly the United States. Many countries have expressed concern that Iran's nuclear program could divert civilian nuclear technology into a weapons program. This has led the United Nations Security Council to impose sanctions against Iran which had further isolated Iran politically and economically from the rest of the global community. In 2009, the U.S. Director of National Intelligence said that Iran, if choosing to, would not be able to develop a nuclear weapon until 2013.NEWS,weblink RPT-EXCLUSIVE-Iran would need 18 months for atom bomb-diplomats, Reuters, 1 August 2010, Louis, Charbonneau, 26 October 2009, File:Demonstrations and protests against United States recognition of Jerusalem in Tehran 032.jpg|thumb|Protest against U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel in Tehran, 11 December 2017]]{{As of|2009}}, the government of Iran maintains diplomatic relations with 99 members of the United Nations,WEB,weblink Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Islamic Republic of Iran, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink 28 February 2009, 8 November 2011, but not with the United States, and not with Israel—a state which Iran's government has derecognized since the 1979 Revolution.BOOK, Seyed Hossein Mousavian, Shahir Shahidsaless, Iran and the United States: An Insider's View on the Failed Past and the Road to Peace,weblink 2014, Bloomsbury Publishing, 978-1-62892-870-9, 33, Among Muslim nations, Iran has an adversarial relationship with Saudi Arabia due to different political and Islamic ideologies. While Iran is a Shia Islamic Republic, Saudi Arabia is a conservative Sunni monarchy.Guffey, Robert A. (2009). Saudi-Iranian Relations Since the Fall of Saddam: Rivalry, Cooperation and Implication for US Policy. RAND Corporation. {{ISBN|978-0-8330-4657-4}}. Regarding the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, the government of Iran has recognized Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Palestine, after Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.WEB,weblink Iran assembly recognizes Jerusalem as Palestine capital, Anadolu Agency, 1 January 2018, WEB,weblink Iran says Jerusalem 'unchangeable' capital of Palestine, Al-Jazeera, 12 May 2018, WEB,weblinkwebsite=Newsweek, 12 May 2018, On 14 July 2015, Tehran and the P5+1 came to a historic agreement (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) to end economic sanctions after demonstrating a peaceful nuclear research project that would meet the International Atomic Energy Agency standards.WEB, Kutsch, Tom, 14 July 2015, Iran, world powers strike historic nuclear deal, Aljazeera America, 15 July 2015,weblink dead,weblink" title="">weblink 15 July 2015, File:German Foreign Minister Steinmeier, EU High Representative Mogherini, and Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif Stand for a Group Photo After EU, P5+1 Reached Iran Nuclear Agreement in Austria.jpg|thumb|left|High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, after reaching in Vienna the Iran nuclear deal frameworkIran nuclear deal frameworkIran is a member of dozens of international organizations, including the G-15, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, IDA, IDB, IFC, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, OIC, OPEC,BOOK, Rubin, Barry, Paved with Good Intentions, 1980, Penguin Books, New York, 83,weblink dead,weblink" title="">weblink 21 October 2013, WHO, and the United Nations, and currently has observer status at the World Trade Organization.In September 2018, Iran ambassador to the United Nations asked the UN to condemn Israeli threats against Tehran and also bring Israel's nuclear program under the International Atomic Energy Agency's supervision.NEWS,weblink Iran asks U.N. to condemn Israeli threats: state TV, Reuters, 20 September 2018, In April 2019 the U.S. threatened to sanction countries continuing to buy oil from Iran after an initial six-month waiver announced in November expired.NEWS, Wroughton, Lesley, U.S. to end all waivers on imports of Iranian oil, crude price jumps,weblink Reuters, 22 April 2019, According to the BBC, U.S. sanctions against Iran "have led to a sharp downturn in Iran's economy, pushing the value of its currency to record lows, quadrupling its annual inflation rate, driving away foreign investors, and triggering protests."NEWS, Iran oil: US to end sanctions exemptions for major importers,weblink BBC News, 22 April 2019, On September 1, 2019, the Iranian authorities took a step to enhance its relations with Qatar, and decided to grant Qatari passport holders tourist visas upon arrival at Iranian airports. Besides, Qatari nationals were also permitted to obtain a single or multiple-entry visa from Iran's embassy in Doha._WEB,weblink Iran decides to grant Qatari visas upon arrival at its airports, 1 September 2019, MbS News,


{{See also|Iranian involvement in the Syrian Civil War}}File:Defence ministers of the three allied powers in the Syrian Civil War.jpg|thumb|The defense ministers of Russia, Iran, and Syria in TehranTehranThe Islamic Republic of Iran has two types of armed forces: the regular forces of the Army, the Air Force, and the Navy, and the Revolutionary Guards, totaling about 545,000 active troops. Iran also has around 350,000 Reserve Force, totaling around 900,000 trained troops.IISS Military Balance 2006, Routledge for the IISS, London, 2006, p.187The government of Iran has a paramilitary, volunteer militia force within the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, called the Basij, which includes about 90,000 full-time, active-duty uniformed members. Up to 11 million men and women are members of the Basij who could potentially be called up for service. estimates Iran could mobilize "up to one million men", which would be among the largest troop mobilizations in the world.WEB, John Pike,weblink Niruyeh Moghavemat Basij Mobilisation Resistance Force,, 18 June 2011, In 2007, Iran's military spending represented 2.6% of the GDP or $102 per capita, the lowest figure of the Persian Gulf nations.WEB,weblink Iran's defense spending 'a fraction of Persian Gulf neighbors',, 22 November 2006, 18 June 2011, Iran's military doctrine is based on deterrence.WEB,weblink Iran's doctrine based on deterrence, IRNA, 18 June 2011, dead,weblink 13 July 2011, dmy, In 2014, the country spent $15 billion on arms, while the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council spent eight times more.Parsi, Trita and Cullis, Tyler. (10 July 2015) "The Myth of the Iranian Military Giant" Foreign Policy. Retrieved 11 July 2015.Foreign Policy website The United States under President Donald Trump officially labeled the Revolutionary Guard as a foreign terrorist organization. It is the first time that an element of a foreign state was designated as a terrorist organization.NEWS,weblink U.S. to Designate Iranian Guard Corps a Foreign Terror Group, Gordon, Michael R., 2019-04-05, Wall Street Journal, 2019-04-07, Strobel, Warren P., en-US, 0099-9660, Youssef, Nancy A., WEB,weblink US 'to label Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist group',, 2019-04-07, The government of Iran supports the military activities of its allies in Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon (Hezbollah) with military and financial aid.Karam, Joyce & Gutman, Roy, presenters. (5 August 2015) Middle East Institute: "Iran Nuclear Agreement and Middle East Relations". Washington, DC: Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Retrieved 5 August 2015. C-Span website {{webarchive|url= |date=5 March 2016 }} Iran and Syria are close strategic allies, and Iran has provided significant support for the Syrian Government in the Syrian Civil War.NEWS, Iran’s 80,000 militia men in Syria prime powder keg,weblink The Times, 5 May 2018, According to some estimates, Iran controlled over 80,000 pro-Assad Shi'ite fighters in Syria.NEWS, How Iran enlists Afghans to fight for Assad in Syria,weblink The Washington Post, 29 July 2018, Since the 1979 Revolution, to overcome foreign embargoes, the government of Iran has developed its own military industry, produced its own tanks, armored personnel carriers, missiles, submarines, military vessels, missile destroyer, radar systems, helicopters, and fighter planes.BOOK, Hossein Askari, Amin Mohseni, Shahrzad Daneshvar, The Militarization of the Persian Gulf: An Economic Analysis,weblink 2010, Edward Elgar Publishing, 978-1-84980-186-7, 93, In recent years, official announcements have highlighted the development of weapons such as the Hoot, Kowsar, Zelzal, Fateh-110, Shahab-3, Sejjil, and a variety of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).NEWS, Iran tests new long-range missile, BBC, 12 November 2008,weblink 12 November 2008, Iran has the largest and most diverse ballistic missile arsenal in the Middle East."Are the Iran nuclear talks heading for a deal?". BBC News Online. Retrieved: 4 August 2016. The Fajr-3, a liquid fuel missile with an undisclosed range which was developed and produced domestically, is currently the most advanced ballistic missile of the country.


{{See also|Iranian subsidy reform plan|Banking and insurance in Iran|Transport in Iran|Communications in Iran}}{|class="wikitable" style="float: right; margin-left: 10px"! style="text-align:center; background:#cfb;" colspan="2" |Share of world GDP (PPP)WEB,weblink Report for Selected Countries and Subjects,, en-US, 2018-09-19, ! style="background:#cfb;"|Year! style="background:#cfb;"|Share1980 style="text-align:right;" |1.90%1990 style="text-align:right;" |1.52%|20001.33%|20101.45%2017 style="text-align:right;" |1.30%File:Provinces of Iran by contribution to national GDP.svg|thumb|Iran's provinces by their contribution to national GDP (2014)]]File:Aerial View of Tehran 26.11.2008 04-35-03.JPG|left|thumb|Tehran is the economic center of Iran, hosting 45% of the country's industries.WEB,weblink Anthony H. Cordesman, The US, Israel, the Arab States and a Nuclear Iran. Part One: Iranian Nuclear Programs, 23 September 2008, Center for Strategic and International StudiesCenter for Strategic and International StudiesIran's economy is a mixture of central planning, state ownership of oil and other large enterprises, village agriculture, and small-scale private trading and service ventures.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 8 June 2011, Iran economy,, 18 June 2011, In 2017, GDP was $427.7 billion ($1.631 trillion at PPP), or $20,000 at PPP per capita. Iran is ranked as an upper-middle income economy by the World Bank.WEB,weblink Iran, Islamic Rep, World Bank, 23 June 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 20 June 2013, In the early 21st century, the service sector contributed the largest percentage of the GDP, followed by industry (mining and manufacturing) and agriculture.Iran Investment Monthly. Turquoise Partners (April 2012). Retrieved 24 July 2012.The Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for developing and maintaining the Iranian rial, which serves as the country's currency. The government does not recognize trade unions other than the Islamic labour councils, which are subject to the approval of employers and the security services.NEWS, Iran's banned trade unions: Aya-toiling,weblink 23 June 2013, The Economist, 20 April 2013, The minimum wage in June 2013 was 487 million rials a month ($134).NEWS, Iran in numbers: How cost of living has soared under sanctions,weblink BBC News, 23 June 2013, Unemployment has remained above 10% since 1997, and the unemployment rate for women is almost double that of the men.In 2006, about 45% of the government's budget came from oil and natural gas revenues, and 31% came from taxes and fees.WEB,weblink IRNA: Crude price pegged at dlrs 39.6 a barrel under next year's budget,, 22 November 2006, 18 June 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 22 June 2011, {{As of|2007}}, Iran had earned $70 billion in foreign-exchange reserves, mostly (80%) from crude oil exports.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 27 March 2008, Iran Daily Forex Reserves Put at $70b, 21 June 2013, Iranian budget deficits have been a chronic problem, mostly due to large-scale state subsidies, that include foodstuffs and especially gasoline, totaling more than $84 billion in 2008 for the energy sector alone.WEB,weblink Ahmadinejad's Achilles Heel: The Iranian Economy,, 18 June 2011, WEB, 8 January 2007,weblink Energy subsidies reach $84b, Iran-Daily, 27 April 2008,weblink" title="">weblink 6 May 2008, In 2010, the economic reform plan was approved by parliament to cut subsidies gradually and replace them with targeted social assistance. The objective is to move towards free market prices in a five-year period and increase productivity and social justice.WEB,weblinkweblink dead, 10 February 2011, Iran – Country Brief,, 30 January 2010, The administration continues to follow the market reform plans of the previous one, and indicates that it will diversify Iran's oil-reliant economy. Iran has also developed a biotechnology, nanotechnology, and pharmaceutical industry.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 14 November 2006, List of Iranian Nanotechnology companies, 21 June 2013, However, nationalized industries such as the bonyads have often been managed badly, making them ineffective and uncompetitive with years. Currently, the government is trying to privatize these industries, and, despite successes, there are still several problems to be overcome, such as the lagging corruption in the public sector and lack of competitiveness. In 2010, Iran was ranked 69, out of 139 nations, in the Global Competitiveness Report.WEB,weblink World Economic Forum: Iran ranks 69th out of 139 in global competitiveness,, 13 September 2010, 18 June 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 8 July 2011, Iran has leading manufacturing industries in the fields of automobile manufacture, transportation, construction materials, home appliances, food and agricultural goods, armaments, pharmaceuticals, information technology, and petrochemicals in the Middle East.WEB,weblinkweblink 13 February 2006, UK Trade & Investment, 13 February 2006, 21 June 2013, dead, According to the 2012 data from the Food and Agriculture Organization, Iran has been among the world's top five producers of apricots, cherries, sour cherries, cucumbers and gherkins, dates, eggplants, figs, pistachios, quinces, walnuts, and watermelons.WEB, FAOSTAT,weblink, 5 April 2015, Economic sanctions against Iran, such as the embargo against Iranian crude oil, have affected the economy.NEWS, Iran and sanctions: When will it ever end?,weblink The Economist, 23 June 2013, 18 August 2012, Sanctions have led to a steep fall in the value of the rial, and {{as of|2013|April|lc=y}}, one US dollar is worth 36,000 rial, compared with 16,000 in early 2012.NEWS, Useless Rial Is U.S. Goal in New Iran Sanctions, Treasury Says,weblink 23 June 2013, Bloomberg, In 2018, after the withdrawal of the US from the JCPOA, the price of dollar hit an all-time high at just over 190,000 rials, which halted the market from trades and stores from selling goods, particularly in the consumer electronics sectorIranian Economy Crisis: Dollar Passed 19 Thousand and Euro Passed 22 Thousand Tomans until the prices were stable. In 2015, Iran and the P5+1 reached a deal on the nuclear program that removed the main sanctions pertaining to Iran's nuclear program by 2016.Bijan Khajehpour: Preventing Iran's post-sanctions job crisis {{webarchive|url= |date=11 August 2016 }}. Al-Monitor, 17 July 2015. Retrieved 27 July 2015.


File:Kish beach 02.jpg|thumb|Over 1 million tourists visit Kish IslandKish IslandAlthough tourism declined significantly during the war with Iraq, it has been subsequently recovered.JOURNAL, Butler, Richard, O'Gorman, Kevin D., Prentice, Richard, 2012-07-01, Destination Appraisal for European Cultural Tourism to Iran, International Journal of Tourism Research, en, 14, 4, 323–338, 10.1002/jtr.862, 1522-1970, About 1,659,000 foreign tourists visited Iran in 2004, and 2.3 million in 2009, mostly from Asian countries, including the republics of Central Asia, while about 10% came from the European Union and North America.ENCYCLOPEDIA, Microsoft Encarta, Iran's entry,weblink 24 July 2010, 2008, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 28 October 2009, dmy, JOURNAL, Iran Travel And Tourism Forecast, Economist Intelligence Unit, 2008, weblink" title="">Iran hosted 2.3 million tourists this year. PressTV, 19 March 2010. Retrieved 22 March 2011. Since the removal of some sanctions against Iran in 2015, tourism has re-surged in the country. Over five million tourists visited Iran in the fiscal year of 2014–2015, four percent more than the previous year.WEB,weblink Nearly one million Azerbaijani tourists visit Iran annually, 13 November 2015, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 14 November 2015, WEB,weblink Nearly one million Azerbaijani tourists visit Iran annually, AzerNews, AzerNews, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 14 November 2015, 2015-11-13, Alongside the capital, the most popular tourist destinations are Isfahan, Mashhad, and Shiraz.Sightseeing and excursions in Iran {{webarchive |url= |date=18 April 2015 }}. Tehran Times, 28 September 2010. Retrieved 22 March 2011. In the early 2000s, the industry faced serious limitations in infrastructure, communications, industry standards, and personnel training.BOOK, Curtis, Glenn,weblink Hooglund, Eric, Iran, a country study, Washington, DC, Library of Congress, 2008, 354, 978-0-8444-1187-3, The majority of the 300,000 travel visas granted in 2003 were obtained by Asian Muslims, who presumably intended to visit pilgrimage sites in Mashhad and Qom. Several organized tours from Germany, France, and other European countries come to Iran annually to visit archaeological sites and monuments. In 2003, Iran ranked 68th in tourism revenues worldwide.Iran ranks 68th in tourism revenues worldwide {{webarchive|url= |date=2 May 2013 }}. Payvand/IRNA, 7 September 2003. Retrieved 12 February 2008. According to the UNESCO and the deputy head of research for Iran's Tourism Organization, Iran is rated fourth among the top 10 destinations in the Middle East. Domestic tourism in Iran is one of the largest in the world.WEB,weblink, 7 November 2010,weblink" title="">weblink 13 May 2008, BOOK, Ayse, Valentine,weblink Nash, Jason John, Leland, Rice, The Business Year 2013: Iran, London, The Business Year, 2013, 166, 978-1-908180-11-7, BOOK, Brian Boniface, MA, Chris Cooper, Robyn Cooper, Worldwide Destinations: The geography of travel and tourism,weblink 2012, Routledge, 978-1-136-00113-0, 362, Weak advertising, unstable regional conditions, a poor public image in some parts of the world, and absence of efficient planning schemes in the tourism sector have all hindered the growth of tourism.


File:CIAIranKarteOelGas.jpg|thumb|Iran holds 10% of the world's proven oil reserves and 15% of its gas. It is OPECOPECIran has the world's second largest proved gas reserves after Russia, with 33.6 trillion cubic metres,NEWS, BP Cuts Russia, Turkmenistan Natural Gas Reserves Estimates,weblink 24 June 2013,, 12 June 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 19 June 2013, and the third largest natural gas production after Indonesia and Russia. It also ranks fourth in oil reserves with an estimated 153,600,000,000 barrels.WEB,weblinkweblink 13 June 2007,,, 7 April 2012, WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 2 April 2009, Iran – U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA),, 7 April 2012, It is OPEC's second largest oil exporter, and is an energy superpower.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 30 November 2012, American Journal of Scientific Research, 2301-2005, 45, 2012, 76–84, 7 February 2012, WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 29 August 2007, The EU should be playing Iran and Russia off against each other, by Julian Evans, 21 June 2013, In 2005, Iran spent US$4 billion on fuel imports, because of contraband and inefficient domestic use.WEB, Kim Murphy – Los Angeles Times,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 18 January 2007, U.S. targets Iran's vulnerable oil,, 7 January 2007, 18 June 2011, Oil industry output averaged {{convert|4|Moilbbl/d|m3/d}} in 2005, compared with the peak of six million barrels per day reached in 1974. In the early 2000s, industry infrastructure was increasingly inefficient because of technological lags. Few exploratory wells were drilled in 2005.In 2004, a large share of Iran's natural gas reserves were untapped. The addition of new hydroelectric stations and the streamlining of conventional coal and oil-fired stations increased installed capacity to 33,000 megawatts. Of that amount, about 75% was based on natural gas, 18% on oil, and 7% on hydroelectric power. In 2004, Iran opened its first wind-powered and geothermal plants, and the first solar thermal plant was to come online in 2009. Iran is the world's third country to have developed GTL technology.WEB,weblink Iran, Besieged by Gasoline Sanctions, Develops GTL to Extract Gasoline from Natural Gas,, 7 February 2012, Demographic trends and intensified industrialization have caused electric power demand to grow by 8% per year. The government's goal of 53,000 megawatts of installed capacity by 2010 is to be reached by bringing on line new gas-fired plants, and adding hydropower and nuclear power generation capacity. Iran's first nuclear power plant at Bushire went online in 2011. It is the second nuclear power plant ever built in the Middle East after the Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant in Armenia.WEB,weblink Iran, 18 June 2011, BOOK, Daniel Müller, Professor Harald Müller, WMD Arms Control in the Middle East: Prospects, Obstacles and Options,weblink 2015, Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 978-1-4724-3593-4, 140,

Education, science and technology

(File:UIS Literacy Rate Iran population plus 15 1975-2015.png|thumb|Literacy rate of Iran's population plus 15, 1975–2015, according to UNESCO Institute of Statistics)Education in Iran is highly centralized. K–12 is supervised by the Ministry of Education, and higher education is under the supervision of the Ministry of Science and Technology. The adult literacy rated 93.0% in September 2015,WEB,weblink fa:معاون آموزشی سازمان نهضت سوادآموزی,, 26 October 2015, while it had rated 85.0% in 2008, up from 36.5% in 1976.WEB, National adult literacy rates (15+), youth literacy rates (15–24) and elderly literacy rates (65+),weblink UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 18 December 2013, The requirement to enter into higher education is to have a high school diploma and pass the Iranian University Entrance Exam (officially known as konkur (کنکور)), which is the equivalent of the SAT and ACT exams of the United States. Many students do a 1–2 year course of pre-university (piš-dānešgāh), which is the equivalent of the GCE A-levels and the International Baccalaureate. The completion of the pre-university course earns students the Pre-University Certificate.WEB,weblink Study in Iran :: Iran Educational System, Peter Krol,, 26 October 2015, File:Sharif University of Technology.jpg|thumb|left|Sharif University of TechnologySharif University of TechnologyIran's higher education is sanctioned by different levels of diplomas, including an associate degree (kārdāni; also known as fowq e diplom) delivered in two years, a bachelor's degree (kāršenāsi; also known as lisāns) delivered in four years, and a master's degree (kāršenāsi e aršad) delivered in two years, after which another exam allows the candidate to pursue a doctoral program (PhD; known as doktorā).WEB,weblink WEP-Iran,, 7 February 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 24 February 2012, dmy-all, According to the Webometrics Ranking of World Universities ({{as of|2017|January|lc=y}}), Iran's top five universities include Tehran University of Medical Sciences (478th worldwide), the University of Tehran (514th worldwide), Sharif University of Technology (605th worldwide), Amirkabir University of Technology (726th worldwide), and the Tarbiat Modares University (789th worldwide).WEB, Iran (Islamic Republic of),weblink Ranking Web of Universities, 21 July 2017, Iran has increased its publication output nearly tenfold from 1996 through 2004, and has been ranked first in terms of output growth rate, followed by China.WEB, Expert:VSR.Subramaniam,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 26 April 2012, Economics: economic, medical uses of alcohol, uses of alcohol,, 18 October 2006, 18 June 2011, According to a study by SCImago in 2012, Iran would rank fourth in the world in terms of research output by 2018, if the current trend persists.WEB,weblink Forecasting Exercise, SCImago, 2012, 30 June 2017, File:inside Aryogen.jpg|thumb|left|The production line for AryoSeven at the Iranian biopharmaceutical company of AryoGenAryoGenIn 2009, a SUSE Linux-based HPC system made by the Aerospace Research Institute of Iran (ARI) was launched with 32 cores, and now runs 96 cores. Its performance was pegged at 192 GFLOPS.WEB, Patrick Thibodeau,weblink AMD Chips Used in Iranian HPC for Rocket Research,, 22 June 2009, 7 April 2012, The Iranian humanoid robot Sorena 2, which was designed by engineers at the University of Tehran, was unveiled in 2010. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has placed the name of Surena among the five prominent robots of the world after analyzing its performance.WEB,weblink No. 3817 | Front page | Page 1, Irandaily, 21 October 2011, In the biomedical sciences, Iran's Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics has a UNESCO chair in biology.WEB,weblink Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics,, 2 February 2011, 18 June 2011, In late 2006, Iranian scientists successfully cloned a sheep by somatic cell nuclear transfer, at the Royan Research Center in Tehran.WEB,weblink The first successfully cloned animal in Iran,, 30 September 2006, 21 June 2013, According to a study by David Morrison and Ali Khadem Hosseini (Harvard-MIT and Cambridge), stem cell research in Iran is amongst the top 10 in the world.WEB,weblink Iranian Studies Group at MIT, 25 August 2010, Iran ranks 15th in the world in nanotechnologies.WEB,weblink INIC – News – 73% of Tehran's Students Acquainted with Nanotechnology,, 18 January 2010, 1 August 2010, WEB,weblink Iran Ranks 15th In Nanotech Articles, Bernama, 9 November 2009, 1 August 2010, WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 15 April 2009, Iran daily: Iranian Technology From Foreign Perspective, 21 June 2013, File:Omid 0651.jpg|thumb|upright|Safir, Iran's first expendable launch vehicle. — Iran is the 9th country to put a domestically built satellite into orbit and the 6th to send animals in spaceanimals in spaceIran placed its domestically built satellite Omid into orbit on the 30th anniversary of the 1979 Revolution, on 2 February 2009,BOOK, Brian Harvey, Henk H. F. Smid, Theo Pirard, Emerging Space Powers: The New Space Programs of Asia, the Middle East and South-America,weblink 2011, Springer Science & Business Media, 978-1-4419-0874-2, 293, through its first expendable launch vehicle Safir, becoming the ninth country in the world capable of both producing a satellite and sending it into space from a domestically made launcher.WEB,weblink The 6th International Conference on Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning,, 2015, 29 November 2015, The Iranian nuclear program was launched in the 1950s. Iran is the seventh country to produce uranium hexafluoride, and controls the entire nuclear fuel cycle.WEB,weblink Iran, 7th in UF6 production – IAEO official,, 22 November 2006, 1 August 2010, NEWS,weblink Iran says it controls entire nuclear fuel cycle, USA Today, 11 April 2009, 18 December 2013, Iranian scientists outside Iran have also made some major contributions to science. In 1960, Ali Javan co-invented the first gas laser, and fuzzy set theory was introduced by Lotfi A. Zadeh.WEB,weblink Project Retired – EECS at UC Berkeley,, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 27 November 2007, dmy, Iranian cardiologist Tofigh Mussivand invented and developed the first artificial cardiac pump, the precursor of the artificial heart. Furthering research and treatment of diabetes, the HbA1c was discovered by Samuel Rahbar. Iranian physics is especially strong in string theory, with many papers being published in Iran.BOOK, Vali Nasr, The Shia Revival: How Conflicts within Islam Will Shape the Future,weblink 2007, W.W. Norton, 978-0-393-06640-1, 213, Iranian American string theorist Kamran Vafa proposed the Vafa–Witten theorem together with Edward Witten. In August 2014, Iranian mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani became the first woman, as well as the first Iranian, to receive the Fields Medal, the highest prize in mathematics.WEB, Ben Mathis-Lilley, A Woman Has Won the Fields Medal, Math's Highest Prize, for the First Time,weblink Slate, Graham Holdings Company, 14 August 2014, 12 August 2014,


{{see also|Healthcare in Iran}}{{Historical populations|1956|18,954,704|1966|25,785,210|1976|33,708,744|1986|49,445,010|1996|60,055,488|2006|70,495,782|2011|75,149,669|2018|81,672,300|title=1956–2011|align=left|shading=off|percentages=pagr|footnote=Source: United Nations Demographic YearbookWEB,weblink United Nations Statistics Division – Demographic and Social Statistics,, 26 October 2015, 2018 data}}(File:Iran Population (1880-2016).jpg|thumb|Iran's population growth (1880–2016))(File:Provinces of Iran by population.svg|thumb|Iran's provinces by population (2014))Iran is a diverse country, consisting of numerous ethnic and linguistic groups that are unified through a shared Iranian nationality.WEB,weblink Encyclopaedia Iranica. R. N. Frye. Peoples of Iran,, 14 September 2011, Iran's population grew rapidly during the latter half of the 20th century, increasing from about 19 million in 1956 to around 75 million by 2009.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 14 February 2009, A New Direction in Population Policy and Family Planning in the Islamic Republic of Iran, United Nations, Asia-Pacific Population Journal, 14 April 2006, WEB,weblink Iran – population,, 18 June 2011, However, Iran's birth rate has dropped significantly in recent years, leading to a population growth rate—recorded from July 2012—of about 1.29%.WEB,weblink fa:کاهش غیرمنتظره نرخ رشد جمعیت در ایران, DW Persian, 19 July 2012, Studies project that the growth will continue to slow until it stabilizes above 105 million by 2050.U.S. Bureau of the Census, 2005. Unpublished work tables for estimating Iran's mortality. Washington, D.C.:Population Division, International Programs CenterWEB,weblink Iran's population growth rate falls to 1.5 percent: UNFP,, Iran News, 18 October 2006, Iran hosts one of the largest refugee populations in the world, with more than one million refugees, mostly from Afghanistan and Iraq.WEB,weblink Afghanistan-Iran: Iran says it will deport over one million Afghans,, 4 March 2008, 21 June 2013, Since 2006, Iranian officials have been working with the UNHCR and Afghan officials for their repatriation.WEB,weblink Tripartite meeting on returns to Afghanistan, UNHCR, UNHCR, United Nations, 14 April 2006, According to estimates, about five million Iranian citizens have emigrated to other countries, mostly since the 1979 Revolution.BOOK, Manouchehr Ganji, Defying the Iranian Revolution: From a Minister to the Shah to a Leader of Resistance,weblink 2002, Greenwood Publishing Group, 978-0-275-97187-8, 210, WEB,weblink Migration Information Institute: Characteristics of the Iranian Diaspora,, 18 June 2011, According to the Iranian Constitution, the government is required to provide every citizen of the country with access to social security, covering retirement, unemployment, old age, disability, accidents, calamities, health and medical treatment and care services.WEB,weblink Iran Social Security System, World Bank, 2003, 30 November 2015, This is covered by tax revenues and income derived from public contributions.WEB,weblink Is tax funding of health care more likely to be regressive than systems based on social insurance in low and middle-income countries?, Universidad de Antioquia, 2013, Aurelio Mejía, 30 November 2015, Source: UN World Population ProspectsWEB,weblink World Population Prospects – Population Division – United Nations,, 2018-08-25,


The majority of the population speak Persian, which is also the official language of the country. Others include speakers of a number of other Iranian languages within the greater Indo-European family, and languages belonging to some other ethnicities living in Iran.In northern Iran, mostly confined to Gilan and Mazenderan, the Gilaki and Mazenderani languages are widely spoken, both having affinities to the neighboring Caucasian languages. In parts of Gilan, the Talysh language is also widely spoken, which stretches up to the neighboring Republic of Azerbaijan. Varieties of Kurdish are widely spoken in the province of Kurdistan and nearby areas. In Khuzestan, several distinct varieties of Persian are spoken. Lurish and Lari are also spoken in southern Iran.Azerbaijani Turkish, which is by far the most spoken language in the country after Persian,Annika Rabo, Bo Utas. The Role of the State in West Asia Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul, 2005 {{ISBN|91-86884-13-1}} as well as a number of other Turkic languages and dialects, is spoken in various regions of Iran, especially in the region of Azerbaijan.Notable minority languages in Iran include Armenian, Georgian, Neo-Aramaic, and Arabic. Khuzi Arabic is spoken by the Arabs in Khuzestan, as well as the wider group of Iranian Arabs. Circassian was also once widely spoken by the large Circassian minority, but, due to assimilation over the many years, no sizable number of Circassians speak the language anymore.Encyclopedia of the Peoples of Africa and the Middle East Facts On File, Incorporated {{ISBN|1-4381-2676-X}} p. 141WEB,weblink Georgia viii: Georgian communities in Persia, Oberling, Pierre, 7 February 2012, Encyclopaedia Iranica, 9 June 2014, WEB,weblink Circassian, Official Circassian Association, 9 June 2014, JOURNAL,weblink Persians: Kind, hospitable, tolerant flattering cheats?, Sir John, Chardin, Jean Chardin, June 1997,, The Iranian, 9 June 2014,weblink" title="">weblink 20 June 1997, live, Excerpted from:
  • BOOK,weblink Book 2, Chapter XI: Of the Temper, Manners, and Customs of the Persians: A XVII th. Century Viewpoint, Sir John, Chardin, Jean Chardin, Travels in Persia, 1673–1677,weblink New York, Dover Publications, 1988, 183–197, 978-0-486-25636-8, 798310290, 9 June 2014,
Percentages of spoken language continue to be a point of debate, as many opt that they are politically motivated; most notably regarding the largest and second largest ethnicities in Iran, the Persians and Azerbaijanis. Percentages given by the CIA's World Factbook include 53% Persian, 16% Azerbaijani Turkish, 10% Kurdish, 7% Mazenderani and Gilaki, 7% Lurish, 2% Turkmen, 2% Balochi, 2% Arabic, and 2% the remainder Armenian, Georgian, Neo-Aramaic, and Circassian.

Ethnic groups

(File:Ethnicities and religions in Iran.png|thumb|Ethnicities and religions in Iran)(File:Provinces of Iran by population density.svg|thumb|Iran's provinces by population density (2013))As with the spoken languages, the ethnic group composition also remains a point of debate, mainly regarding the largest and second largest ethnic groups, the Persians and Azerbaijanis, due to the lack of Iranian state censuses based on ethnicity. The CIA's World Factbook has estimated that around 79% of the population of Iran are a diverse Indo-European ethno-linguistic group that comprise the speakers of the Iranian languages,J. Harmatta in "History of Civilizations of Central Asia", Chapter 14, The Emergence of Indo-Iranians: The Indo-Iranian Languages, ed. by A. H. Dani & V.N. Masson, 1999, p. 357 with Persians (incl. Mazenderanis and Gilaks) constituting 61% of the population, Kurds 10%, Lurs 6%, and Balochs 2%. Peoples of other ethno-linguistic groups make up the remaining 21%, with Azerbaijanis constituting 16%, Arabs 2%, Turkmens and other Turkic tribes 2%, and others (such as Armenians, Talysh, Georgians, Circassians, Assyrians) 1%.WEB,weblink The World Factbook: Iran, CIA, 2012, People and Society, unfit,weblink 19 November 2012, The Library of Congress issued slightly different estimates: 65% Persians (incl. Mazenderanis, Gilaks, and the Talysh), 16% Azerbaijanis, 7% Kurds, 6% Lurs, 2% Baloch, 1% Turkic tribal groups (incl. Qashqai and Turkmens), and non-Iranian, non-Turkic groups (incl. Armenians, Georgians, Assyrians, Circassians, and Arabs) less than 3%. It determined that Persian is the first language of at least 65% of the country's population, and is the second language for most of the remaining 35%.WEB,weblink Country Profile: Iran, Federal Research Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., May 2008, xxvi, PDF, 9 June 2014, Other non-governmental estimations regarding the groups other than the Persians and Azerbaijanis roughly congruate with the World Factbook and the Library of Congress. However, many scholarly and organisational estimations regarding the number of these two groups differ significantly from the mentioned census. According to many of them, the number of ethnic Azerbaijanis in Iran comprises between 21.6–30% of the total population, with the majority holding it on 25%.{{ref|New America Foundation|c}}NEWS,weblink Results a new nationwide public opinion survey of Iran, New America Foundation, 12 June 2009, 13 August 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 23 July 2013, {{ref|Minority Rights|d}}NEWS,weblink Azeris, Minority Rights Group International, 2009, 16 October 2013,
  • Shaffer, Brenda (2003). Borders and Brethren: Iran and the Challenge of Azerbaijani Identity. MIT Press. pp. 221–225. {{ISBN|0-262-19477-5}} "There is considerable lack of consensus regarding the number of Azerbaijanis in Iran ... Most conventional estimates of the Azerbaijani population range between one-fifth to one-third of the general population of Iran, the majority claiming one-fourth." – "Azerbaijani student groups in Iran claim that there are 27 million Azerbaijanis residing in Iran."
  • Minahan, James (2002). Encyclopedia of the Stateless Nations: S-Z. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 1765. {{ISBN|978-0-313-32384-3}} "Approximately (2002e) 18,500,000 Southern Azeris in Iran, concentrated in the northwestern provinces of East and West Azerbaijan. It is difficult to determine the exact number of Southern Azeris in Iran, as official statistics are not published detailing Iran's ethnic structure. Estimates of the Southern Azeri population range from as low as 12 million up to 40% of the population of Iran – that is, nearly 27 million..."Rasmus Christian Elling, Minorities in Iran: Nationalism and Ethnicity after Khomeini, Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. Excerpt: "The number of Azeris in Iran is heavily disputed. In 2005, Amanolahi estimated all Turkic-speaking communities in Iran to number no more than 9 million. CIA and Library of congress estimates range from 16 percent to 24 percent – that is, 12–18 million people if we employ the latest total figure for Iran's population (77.8 million). Azeri ethnicsts, on the other hand, argue that overall number is much higher, even as much as 50 percent or more of the total population. Such inflated estimates may have influenced some Western scholars who suggest that up to 30 percent (that is, some 23 million today) Iranians are Azeris." weblinkAli Gheissari. Contemporary Iran: Economy, Society – Politics: Economy, Society, Politics. p. 300. "Azeri ethnonationalist activist, however, claim that number to be 24 million, hence as high as 35 percent of the Iranian population." Oxford University Press. 2 April 2009.NEWS,weblink Iran, New America Foundation, 12 June 2009, 31 August 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 23 July 2013, In any case, the largest population of Azerbaijanis in the world live in Iran.


{{see also|Islamization of Iran}}{| class="wikitable sortable" style="margin-left:1em; float:right"Iranian people by religion, 2011 General Census Results{{Citation>url=|title=2011 General Census Selected Results|publisher=Statistical Center of Iran|isbn=978-964-365-827-4|page=26|year=2012}}! Religion !! Percent of population !! Number of peopleIslam in Iran>Muslim 99.3989%(90–95% Shia) 74,682,938Christianity in Iran>Christian 0.1566% 117,704Persian Jews>Jewish 0.0117% 8,756Zoroastrians in Iran>Zoroastrian 0.0336% 25,271| 49,101| 205,317Historically, early Iranian religions such as the Proto-Iranic religion and the subsequent Zoroastrianism and Manichaeism were the dominant religions in Iran, particularly during the Median, Achaemenid, Parthian, and Sasanian eras. This changed after the fall of the Sasanian Empire by the centuries-long Islamization that followed the Muslim Conquest of Iran. Iran was predominantly Sunni until the conversion of the country (as well as the people of what is today the neighboring Republic of Azerbaijan) to Shia Islam by the order of the Safavid dynasty in the 16th century.Today, Twelver Shia Islam is the official state religion, to which about 90% to 95%BOOK, Walter Martin, Kingdom of the Cults, The,weblink 24 June 2013, Ninety-five percent of Iran's Muslims are Shi'ites., 2003, Baker Books, 978-0-7642-2821-6, 421, BOOK, Bhabani Sen Gupta, The Persian Gulf and South Asia: prospects and problems of inter-regional cooperation, Shias constitute seventy-five percent of the population of the Gulf. Of this, ninety-five percent of Iranians and sixty of Iraqis are Shias., 1987, South Asian Publishers, 978-81-7003-077-5, 158, of the population adhere. About 4% to 8% of the population are Sunni Muslims, mainly Kurds and Baloches. The remaining 2% are non-Muslim religious minorities, including Christians, Jews, Bahais, Mandeans, Yezidis, Yarsanis, and Zoroastrians.WEB, Contrera, Russell,weblink Saving the people, killing the faith, Holland, MI, The Holland Sentinel, 7 March 2015, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 6 March 2012, There are about 3,000,000 adherents of Yarsanism, a Kurdish indigenous religion related to Zoroastrianism: making it the largest (unrecognized) minority religion in Iran. Its followers are mainly Gorani Kurds and certain groups of Lurs. They are based in Kurdistan Province, Kermanshah Province and Lorestan mainly.Judaism has a long history in Iran, dating back to the Achaemenid conquest of Babylonia. Although many left in the wake of the establishment of the State of Israel and the 1979 Revolution, about 8,756NEWS,weblink Jewish woman brutally murdered in Iran over property dispute, The Times of Israel, 28 November 2012, 16 Aug 2014, "A government census published earlier this year indicated there were a mere 8,756 Jews left in Iran", to 25,000WEB, Sarshar, Houman, JUDEO-PERSIAN COMMUNITIES i. INTRODUCTION,weblink Encyclopedia Iranica, 23 October 2016, 30 November 2012, Jewish people live in Iran. Iran has the largest Jewish population in the Middle East outside of Israel.WEB, In Iran, Mideast's largest Jewish population outside Israel finds new acceptance by officials,weblink 1 September 2015, Around 250,000 to 370,000 Christians reside in Iran,WEB,weblink Iran Population 2015, World Population Review, 2015, 29 November 2015, Country Information and Guidance "Christians and Christian converts, Iran" December 2014. p.9 and Christianity is the country's largest recognized minority religion. Most are of Armenian background, as well as a sizable minority of Assyrians.WEB, U.S. State Department, Iran – International Religious Freedom Report 2009, The Office of Electronic Information, Bureau of Public Affair, 26 October 2009,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 29 October 2009, Christianity, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, and the Sunni branch of Islam are officially recognized by the government, and have reserved seats in the Iranian Parliament. But the Bahá'í Faith, which is said to be the largest non-Muslim religious minority in IranWEB, 1 August 2003, Discrimination against religious minorities in Iran, International Federation for Human Rights,, 17 January 2009,weblink 6, is not officially recognized, and has been persecuted during its existence in Iran since the 19th century, while according to statistics center of Iran, Bahais constitute only about 0.37% of Iran, namely about 25.000 to 40.000 people, and it is also said that there does seem to be a kind of exaggeration in declaration of their population by the order of Bahais heads.The numbers of minorities in Iran ... Retrieved 23 December 2017The numerical data of Baha'is, Christians, Jews and Sunni people in Iran,... Retrieved 23 December 2017 Since the 1979 Revolution, the persecution of Bahais has increased with executions and denial of civil rights, especially the denial of access to higher education and employment.WEB, 1 August 2003, Discrimination against religious minorities in Iran, International Federation for Human Rights,, 19 March 2007,weblink WEB, Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, A Faith Denied: The Persecution of the Bahá'ís of Iran, 2007, 19 March 2007,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 11 June 2007, NEWS, Kamali, Saeed,weblink Bahá'í student expelled from Iranian university 'on grounds of religion', Guardian, 27 February 2013, 21 June 2013, {{multiple image| align = center| direction= horizontal| image1 =Atashkadeh (fireplace).jpgSasanian Empire>Sasanian Zoroastrian Fire Temple of Amol.| image2 =Saint Stephen Church - 8614907041.jpgSaint Stepanos Monastery>Monastery of Saint Stepanos in Jolfa County, part of Armenian Monastic Ensembles of Iran>Iran's Armenian Monastic Ensembles on UNESCO's World Heritage List.| image3 =Blue (Kabud) Mosque - 1, Tabriz, Iran.jpgBlue Mosque, Tabriz>Blue Mosque of Tabriz, one of Iran's few completely roofed mosques.| image4 = Shah Mosque, Isfahan.jpgIsfahan's Shah Mosque (Isfahan)>Shah Mosque, built by the order of Abbas I of Persia in 1629, together with the adjacent bazaar, forms an axis between trade and religion.HTTP://WWW.IRANICAONLINE.ORG/ARTICLES/ISFAHAN-X3-MOSQUES TRANS-TITLE=X. MONUMENTS (3) MOSQUES ACCESS-DATE=JULY 21, 2017 PAGES=20–33, }}


The earliest attested cultures in Iran date back to the Lower Paleolithic. Owing to its geopolitical position, Iran has influenced cultures as far as Greece and Italy to the west, Russia to the north, the Arabian Peninsula to the south, and south and east Asia to the east.


Iranian art|Arts of Iran}}{{See also|Achaemenid architecture|Parthian art|Sasanian art|Safavid art|Qajar art|Iranian modern and contemporary art}}File:Cup with a frieze of gazelles MET an62.84.R.jpg|thumb|Iron Age gold cup from Marlik, kept at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York CityNew York CityThe art of Iran encompasses many disciplines, including architecture, stonemasonry, metalworking, weaving, pottery, painting, and calligraphy. Iranian works of art show a great variety in style, in different regions and periods.BOOK, F., Hole, K. V., Flannery, Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, 1968, The art of the Medes remains obscure, but has been theoretically attributed to the Scythian style.ENCYCLOPEDIA, Encyclopædia Iranica,weblink Art in Iran, ii. Median Art and Architecture, II, 565–569, 18 July 2017, The Achaemenids borrowed heavily from the art of their neighboring civilizations,BOOK,weblink Achaemenid Culture and Local Traditions in Anatolia, Southern Caucasus and Iran: New Discoveries, Askolʹd Igorevich, Vaxtang, Ivanchik, Ličʻeli, Askold Ivanchik, BRILL, 117, 2007, 978-90-04-16328-7, but produced a synthesis of a unique style,BOOK, Lipiński, Edward, Van Lerberghe, Karel, Schoors, Antoon, Immigration and emigration within the ancient Near East,weblink 1995, Peeters Publishers, 978-90-6831-727-5, 119, with an eclectic architecture remaining at sites such as Persepolis and Pasargadae. Greek iconography was imported by the Seleucids, followed by the recombination of Hellenistic and earlier Near Eastern elements in the art of the Parthians,ENCYCLOPEDIA,weblink Encyclopædia Iranica, II, 580–585, ART IN IRAN, iv. Parthian Art, with remains such as the Temple of Anahita and the Statue of the Parthian Nobleman. By the time of the Sasanians, Iranian art came across a general renaissance.ENCYCLOPEDIA,weblink Sāsānian dynasty, Encyclopædia Britannica, 18 July 2017, Under the Sāsānians Iranian art experienced a general renaissance., Although of unclear development,ENCYCLOPEDIA, Encyclopædia Iranica,weblink ART IN IRAN, v. Sasanian Art, II, 585–594, 18 July 2017, Sasanian art was highly influential, and spread into far regions. Taq-e-Bostan, Taq-e-Kasra, Naqsh-e-Rostam, and the Shapur-Khwast Castle are among the surviving monuments from the Sasanian period.During the Middle Ages, Sasanian art played a prominent role in the formation of both European and Asian medieval art, which carried forward to the Islamic world, and much of what later became known as Islamic learning—including medicine, architecture, philosophy, philology, and literature—were of Sasanian basis.WEB,weblink Iran – A country study,, 18 June 2011, WEB,weblink History of Islamic Science 5,, 18 June 2011, ENCYCLOPEDIA, Afary, Janet, Iran, 2006, Encyclopædia Britannica, 29 October 2007,weblink ENCYCLOPEDIA, Encyclopædia Iranica,weblink Art in Iran, xii. Iranian Pre-Islamic Elements in Islamic Art, II, 549–646, 15 July 2017, File:Miniator hotel shah abbas deevar.jpg|thumb|left|A Safavid painting kept at the Abbasi Caravanserai in IsfahanIsfahanThe Safavid era is known as the Golden Age of Iranian art,BOOK,weblink Canby, Sheila R., British Museum Press, 2002, The Golden Age of Persian Art: 1501–1722, 978-0-7141-2404-9, and Safavid works of art show a far more unitary development than in any other period,ENCYCLOPEDIA,weblink ART IN IRAN, ix. Safavid To Qajar Periods, Encyclopædia Iranica, 18 July 2017, as part of a political evolution that reunified Iran as a cultural entity. Safavid art exerted noticeable influences upon the neighboring Ottomans, the Mughals, and the Deccans, and was also influential through its fashion and garden architecture on 11th–17th-century Europe.File:Mirror Hall.jpg|thumb|right|Kamal-ol-Molk's Mirror Hall, often considered a starting point in Iranian modern art.ENCYCLOPEDIA, Encyclopædia Iranica,weblink Kamāl-al-Molk, Moḥammad Ḡaffāri, XV, 417–433, July 13, 2017, ]]Iran's contemporary art traces its origins back to the time of Kamal-ol-Molk,ENCYCLOPEDIA, Encyclopædia Iranica,weblink Art in Iran, xi. Post-Qajar (Painting), II, 640–646, 15 July 2017, a prominent realist painter at the court of the Qajar dynasty who affected the norms of painting and adopted a naturalistic style that would compete with photographic works. A new Iranian school of fine art was established by Kamal-ol-Molk in 1928, and was followed by the so-called "coffeehouse" style of painting.Iran's avant-garde modernists emerged by the arrival of new western influences during World War II. The vibrant contemporary art scene originates in the late 1940s, and Tehran's first modern art gallery, Apadana, was opened in September 1949 by painters Mahmud Javadipur, Hosein Kazemi, and Hushang Ajudani.BOOK,weblink Translation, History and Arts, New Horizons in Asian Interdisciplinary Humanities Research, 2013, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Meng, Jl, 92, 978-1-4438-5117-6, BOOK,weblink Picturing Iran, Art, Society and Revolution, Lynn, Gumpert, Shiva, Balaghi, 48, 2002, I.B. Tauris, 978-1-86064-883-0, The new movements received official encouragement by mid-1950s, which led to the emergence of artists such as Marcos Grigorian, signaling a commitment to the creation of a form of modern art grounded in Iran.WEB,weblink Art in America: Modernity and revolution: a recent show of Iranian art focused on the turbulent time from 1960 to 1980, juxtaposing formally inventive works of art with politically charged photographs and posters – Art & Politics – Between Word and Image: Modern Iranian Visual Culture, 25 November 2004, bot: unknown,weblink" title="">weblink 25 November 2004, dmy-all,


The history of architecture in Iran goes back to the seventh millennium BC.BOOK, Pope, Arthur Upham, Introducing Persian Architecture, Oxford University Press, London, 1971, Arthur Upham Pope, Iranians were among the first to use mathematics, geometry and astronomy in architecture. Iranian architecture displays great variety, both structural and aesthetic, developing gradually and coherently out of earlier traditions and experience.BOOK, Pope, Arthur Upham, Persian Architecture, George Braziller, New York, 1965, 266, Arthur Upham Pope, The guiding motif of Iranian architecture is its cosmic symbolism, "by which man is brought into communication and participation with the powers of heaven".BOOK, Ardalan, Nader, Laleh Bakhtiar, Bakhtiar, Laleh., The Sense of Unity: The Sufi Tradition in Persian Architecture, 2000, 978-1-871031-78-2, Iran ranks seventh among UNESCO's list of countries with the most archaeological ruins and attractions from antiquity.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 24 November 2010, Virtual Conference,, 18 June 2011, Traditionally, the guiding formative motif of Iranian architecture has been its cosmic symbolism "by which man is brought into communication and participation with the powers of heaven".Nader Ardalan and Laleh Bakhtiar. Sense of Unity; The Sufi Tradition in Persian Architecture. 2000. {{ISBN|1-871031-78-8}} This theme has not only given unity and continuity to the architecture of Persia, but has been a primary source of its emotional character as well.According to Persian historian and archaeologist Arthur Pope, the supreme Iranian art, in the proper meaning of the word, has always been its architecture. The supremacy of architecture applies to both pre- and post-Islamic periods.Arthur Pope, Introducing Persian Architecture. Oxford University Press. London. 1971.{{multiple image| align = center| direction= horizontal| image1 =Persepolis_06.jpg| caption1 =Ruins of the Tachara, part of the World Heritage site of Persepolis.| image2= Naghshe Jahan Square Isfahan modified.jpg| caption2 =Isfahan's World Heritage site of Naqsh-e Jahan Square.| image3 =Si-o-se-Pol.jpg| caption3 =Isfahan's historic Si-o-se-pol.| image4 = Azadi tower 9.jpg| caption4 =Tehran's historic Azadi Tower.}}


Iran's carpet-weaving has its origins in the Bronze Age, and is one of the most distinguished manifestations of Iranian art. Iran is the world's largest producer and exporter of handmade carpets, producing three quarters of the world's total output and having a share of 30% of world's export markets.BOOK, K K Goswami, Advances in Carpet Manufacture,weblink 2009, Elsevier, 978-1-84569-585-9, 148, WEB, Khalaj, Mehrnosh,weblink Iran's oldest craft left behind,, 10 February 2010, 4 October 2013,


File:ferdowsi tomb4.jpg|thumb|Tomb of the 10th-century Persian poet Ferdowsi, the author of Šāhnāme, the classical Persian composition of the Iranian national epics, in Tus.]]Iran's oldest literary tradition is that of Avestan, the Old Iranian sacred language of the Avesta, which consists of the legendary and religious texts of Zoroastrianism and the ancient Iranian religion, with its earliest records dating back to the pre-Achaemenid times.JOURNAL, Indo-Iranian Journal, A Glossary of Terms for Weapons and Armor in Old Iranian, W.W., Malandra, 15, 4, 264–289, 1973, Philadelphia, Brill, 24651454, 10.1007/BF00161055, Of the various modern languages used in Iran, Persian, various dialects of which are spoken throughout the Iranian Plateau,Arthur John Arberry, The Legacy of Persia, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1953, {{ISBN|0-19-821905-9}}, p. 200.Von David Levinson; Karen Christensen, Encyclopedia of Modern Asia, Charles Scribner's Sons. 2002 p. 48 has the most influential literature. Persian has been dubbed as a worthy language to serve as a conduit for poetry, and is considered one of the four main bodies of world literature.BOOK, David Levinson, Karen Christensen, Encyclopedia of Modern Asia: Iaido to Malay, 2002, Charles Scribner's Sons, 978-0-684-80617-4, 48, In spite of originating from the region of Persis (better known as Persia) in southwestern Iran, the Persian language was used and developed further through Persianate societies in Asia Minor, Central Asia, and South Asia, leaving massive influences on Ottoman and Mughal literatures, among others.Iran has a number of famous medieval poets, most notably Rumi, Ferdowsi, Hafez, Saadi Shirazi, Omar Khayyam, and Nezami Ganjavi.BOOK, François de Blois, Persian Literature: A Bio-bibliographical Survey,weblink 21 June 2013, 5, April 2004, Routledge, Nizami Ganja'i, whose personal name was Ilyas, is the most celebrated native poet of the Persians after Firdausi., 978-0-947593-47-6, 363, Iranian literature also inspired writers such as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Henry David Thoreau, and Ralph Waldo Emerson.


File:Raffael 071.jpg|thumb|left|Zoroaster, the founder of Zoroastrianism, depicted on Raphael's The School of AthensThe School of AthensIranian philosophy originates from Indo-European roots, with Zoroaster's reforms having major influences.According to The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy, the chronology of the subject and science of philosophy starts with the Indo-Iranians, dating this event to 1500 BC. The Oxford dictionary also states, "Zarathushtra's philosophy entered to influence Western tradition through Judaism, and therefore on Middle Platonism."While there are ancient relations between the Indian Vedas and the Iranian Avesta, the two main families of the Indo-Iranian philosophical traditions were characterized by fundamental differences, especially in their implications for the human being's position in society and their view of man's role in the universe.The Cyrus Cylinder, which is known as "the first charter of human rights", is often seen as a reflection of the questions and thoughts expressed by Zoroaster, and developed in Zoroastrian schools of the Achaemenid era.ENCYCLOPEDIA, Kreyenbroek, Philip G., Morals and Society in Zoroastrian Philosophy" in "Persian Philosophy, Companion Encyclopedia of Asian Philosophy, Brian, Carr, Indira, Mahalingam, Routledge, 2009, ENCYCLOPEDIA, Boyce, Mary, The Origins of Zoroastrian Philosophy" in "Persian Philosophy, Companion Encyclopedia of Asian Philosophy, Brian, Carr, Indira, Mahalingam, Routledge, 2009, The earliest tenets of Zoroastrian schools are part of the extant scriptures of the Zoroastrian religion in Avestan. Among them are treatises such as the Zatspram, Shkand-gumanik Vizar, and Denkard, as well as older passages of the Avesta and the Gathas.BOOK, An Anthology of Philosophy in Persia, From Zoroaster to Omar Khayyam, S.H., Nasr, M., Aminrazavi, I.B. Tauris, 2008, 978-1-84511-541-8, .


File:Arash statue in Sa'dābād palace.jpg|thumb|Statue of Arash the Archer at the Sa'dabad ComplexSa'dabad ComplexIranian mythology consists of ancient Iranian folklore and stories, all involving extraordinary beings, reflecting attitudes towards the confrontation of good and evil, actions of the gods, and the exploits of heroes and fabulous creatures.Myths play a crucial part in Iranian culture, and understanding of them is increased when they are considered within the context of actual events in Iranian history. The geography of Greater Iran, a vast area covering present-day Iran, the Caucasus, Anatolia, Mesopotamia and Central Asia, with its high mountain ranges, plays the main role in much of Iranian mythology.Tenth-century Persian poet Ferdowsi's long epic poem Šāhnāme ("Book of Kings"), which is for the most part based on Xwadāynāmag, a Middle Persian compilation of the history of Iranian kings and heroes from mythical times down to the reign of Chosroes II,ENCYCLOPEDIA,weblink Ferdowsī, Boyle, John Andrew, Encyclopædia Britannica, 18 July 2017, is considered the national epic of Iran. It draws heavily on the stories and characters of the Zoroastrian tradition, from the texts of the Avesta, the Denkard, and the Bundahishn.


Iran is the apparent birthplace of the earliest complex instruments, dating back to the third millennium BC.ENCYCLOPEDIA,weblink Music History, i. Third Millenium B.C.E., Encyclopædia Iranica, The use of both vertical and horizontal angular harps have been documented at the sites Madaktu and Kul-e Farah, with the largest collection of Elamite instruments documented at Kul-e Farah. Multiple depictions of horizontal harps were also sculpted in Assyrian palaces, dating back between 865 and 650 BC.Xenophon's Cyropaedia mentions a great number of singing women at the court of the Achaemenid Empire. Athenaeus of Naucratis, in his Deipnosophistae, points out to the capture of Achaemenid singing girls at the court of the last Achaemenid king Darius III (336–330 BC) by Macedonian general Parmenion. Under the Parthian Empire, the gōsān (Parthian for "minstrel") had a prominent role in the society.ENCYCLOPEDIA, Encyclopædia Iranica,weblink GŌSĀN, Xi, 167–170, 15 July 2017, According to Plutarch's Life of Crassus (32.3), they praised their national heroes and ridiculed their Roman rivals. Likewise, Strabo's Geographica reports that the Parthian youth were taught songs about "the deeds both of the gods and of the noblest men".BOOK,weblink Geography, 7, Strabo, Harvard University Press, 1983, London, 179, 978-0-674-99266-5, Strabo, The history of Sasanian music is better documented than the earlier periods, and is especially more evident in Avestan texts.{{harv|Lawergren|2009}} iv. First millennium C.E. (1) Sasanian music, 224–651. By the time of Chosroes II, the Sasanian royal court hosted a number of prominent musicians, namely Azad, Bamshad, Barbad, Nagisa, Ramtin, and Sarkash.Iranian traditional musical instruments include string instruments such as chang (harp), qanun, santur, rud (oud, barbat), tar, dotar, setar, tanbur, and kamanche, wind instruments such as sorna (zurna, karna) and ney, and percussion instruments such as tompak, kus, daf (dayere), and naqare.Iran's first symphony orchestra, the Tehran Symphony Orchestra, was founded by Qolam-Hoseyn Minbashian in 1933. It was reformed by Parviz Mahmoud in 1946, and is currently Iran's oldest and largest symphony orchestra. Later, by the late 1940s, Ruhollah Khaleqi founded the country's first national music society, and established the School of National Music in 1949.WEB,weblink,, 26 October 2015, Iranian pop music has its origins in the Qajar era.WEB,weblink Iran Chamber Society: Music of Iran: Pop Music in Iran,, 26 October 2015, It was significantly developed since the 1950s, using indigenous instruments and forms accompanied by electric guitar and other imported characteristics. The emergence of genres such as rock in the 1960s and hip hop in the 2000s also resulted in major movements and influences in Iranian music.WEB,weblink Iran's underground hip hop dance scene | The FRANCE 24 Observers,, 29 August 2013, 24 February 2014, WEB, fa:'اسکورپیو' در آپارات,weblink BBC Persian, WEB,weblink Rebels of rap reign in Iran, SFGate, 26 October 2015, NEWS,weblink Iran's 'illegal' rappers want cultural revolution, Anuj Chopra in Tehran, 28 January 2008, The Independent, 26 October 2015, File:Karna-Persian-Instrument-Persepolis-Museum.JPG|Karna, an ancient Iranian musical instrument from the 6th century BC, kept at the Persepolis Museum.File:Mehmoonifinal2.jpg|A Persian miniature depicting a late Zand- or Qajar-era banquet with women playing musical instruments. Artist is a student of Kamal-ol-molk by the name of Ibrahim Jabbar-beik.File:Iran national orchestra.jpg|The National Music Society of Iran, conducted by Khaleqi in the 1940s.


File:RudakiHall.jpg|thumb|The Roudaki Hall, constructed between 1957 and 1967 in TehranTehranThe earliest recorded representations of dancing figures within Iran were found in prehistoric sites such as Tepe Sialk and Tepe Mūsīān.ENCYCLOPEDIA,weblink Dance, Encyclopædia Iranica, 26 October 2015, The oldest Iranian initiation of theater and the phenomena of acting can be traced in the ancient epic ceremonial theaters such as Sug-e Siāvuš ("mourning of Siāvaš"), as well as dances and theater narrations of Iranian mythological tales reported by Herodotus and Xenophon.Iran's traditional theatrical genres include Baqqāl-bāzi ("grocer play", a form of slapstick comedy), Ruhowzi (or Taxt-howzi, comedy performed over a courtyard pool covered with boards), Siāh-bāzi (in which the central comedian appears in blackface), Sāye-bāzi (shadow play), Xeyme-šab-bāzi (marionette), and Arusak-bāzi (puppetry), and Ta'zie (religious tragedy plays).ENCYCLOPEDIA,weblink DRAMA, Encyclopædia Iranica, 20 July 2017, VII, 529–535, Before the 1979 Revolution, the Iranian national stage had become a famous performing scene for known international artists and troupes,BOOK, Kiann, Nima, 2015, The History of Ballet in Iran, Wiesbaden, Reichert Publishing, with the Roudaki Hall of Tehran constructed to function as the national stage for opera and ballet. Opened on 26 October 1967, the hall is home to the Tehran Symphony Orchestra, the Tehran Opera Orchestra, and the Iranian National Ballet Company, and was officially renamed Vahdat Hall after the 1979 Revolution.Loris Tjeknavorian's Rostam and Sohrab, based on the tragedy of Rostam and Sohrab from Ferdowsi's epic poem Šāhnāme, is an example of opera with Persian libretto. Tjeknavorian, a celebrated Iranian Armenian composer and conductor, composed it in 25 years, and it was finally performed for the first time at Tehran's Roudaki Hall, with Darya Dadvar in the role of Tahmina.

Cinema and animation

A third-millennium BC earthen goblet discovered at the Burnt City, a Bronze Age urban settlement in southeastern Iran, depicts what could possibly be the world's oldest example of animation. The artifact, associated with Jiroft, bears five sequential images depicting a wild goat jumping up to eat the leaves of a tree.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 3 October 2012, World's oldest animation?, The Heritage Trust, 26 October 2015, WEB,weblink Oldest Animation Discovered In Iran, Animation Magazine, The earliest attested Iranian examples of visual representations, however, are traced back to the bas-reliefs of Persepolis, the ritual center of the Achaemenid Empire. The figures at Persepolis remain bound by the rules of grammar and syntax of visual language.Honour, Hugh and John Fleming, The Visual Arts: A History. New Jersey, Prentice Hall Inc., 1992. Page: 96. The Iranian visual arts reached a pinnacle by the Sasanian era, and several works from this period have been found to articulate movements and actions in a highly sophisticated manner. It is even possible to see a progenitor of the cinematic close-up shot in one of these works of art, which shows a wounded wild pig escaping from the hunting ground.WEB,weblink Iranian Cinema: Before the Revolution,, By the early 20th century, the five-year-old industry of cinema came to Iran. The first Iranian filmmaker was probably Mirza Ebrahim (Akkas Bashi), the court photographer of Mozaffar-ed-Din Shah of the Qajar dynasty. Mirza Ebrahim obtained a camera and filmed the Qajar ruler's visit to Europe. Later in 1904, Mirza Ebrahim (Sahhaf Bashi), a businessman, opened the first public movie theater in Tehran.WEB,weblink Massoud Mehrabi – Articles,, 26 October 2015, After him, several others like Russi Khan, Ardeshir Khan, and Ali Vakili tried to establish new movie theaters in Tehran. Until the early 1930s, there were around 15 cinema theaters in Tehran and 11 in other provinces. The first Iranian feature film, Abi and Rabi, was a silent comedy directed by Ovanes Ohanian in 1930. The first sounded one, Lor Girl, was produced by Ardeshir Irani and Abd-ol-Hosein Sepanta in 1932.Iran's animation industry began by the 1950s, and was followed by the establishment of the influential Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults in January 1965.WEB,weblink Tehran International Animation Festival (1st Festival 1999 ),, WEB,weblink Tehran International Animation Festival (TIAF),, 26 October 2015, dead,weblink 15 October 2015, dmy, The 1960s was a significant decade for Iranian cinema, with 25 commercial films produced annually on average throughout the early 60s, increasing to 65 by the end of the decade. The majority of the production focused on melodrama and thrillers. With the screening of the films Qeysar and The Cow, directed by Masoud Kimiai and Dariush Mehrjui respectively in 1969, alternative films set out to establish their status in the film industry and Bahram Beyzai's Downpour and Nasser Taghvai's Tranquility in the Presence of Others followed soon. Attempts to organize a film festival, which had begun in 1954 within the framework of the Golrizan Festival, resulted in the festival of Sepas in 1969. The endeavors also resulted in the formation of the Tehran's World Film Festival in 1973.BOOK, Shahab Esfandiary, Iranian Cinema and Globalization: National, Transnational, and Islamic Dimensions,weblink 2012, Intellect Books, 978-1-84150-470-4, 69, After the Revolution of 1979, and following the Cultural Revolution, a new age emerged in Iranian cinema, starting with Long Live! by Khosrow Sinai and followed by many other directors, such as Abbas Kiarostami and Jafar Panahi. Kiarostami, an acclaimed Iranian director, planted Iran firmly on the map of world cinema when he won the Palme d'Or for Taste of Cherry in 1997.BOOK, Hamid Dabashi, Masters & Masterpieces of Iranian Cinema, 2007, Mage Publishers, 978-0-934211-85-7, intro, The continuous presence of Iranian films in prestigious international festivals, such as the Cannes Film Festival, the Venice Film Festival, and the Berlin International Film Festival, attracted world attention to Iranian masterpieces.BOOK, Peter Decherney, Blake Atwood, Iranian Cinema in a Global Context: Policy, Politics, and Form,weblink 2014, Routledge, 978-1-317-67520-4, 193, In 2006, six Iranian films, of six different styles, represented Iranian cinema at the Berlin International Film Festival. Critics considered this a remarkable event in the history of Iranian cinema.WEB,weblink Iran's strong presence in 2006 Berlin International Film Festival,, NEWS,weblink BBC NEWS – Entertainment – Iran films return to Berlin festival,, 26 October 2015, Asghar Farhadi, a well-known Iranian director, has received a Golden Globe Award and two Academy Awards, representing Iran for Best Foreign Language Film in 2012 and 2017. In 2012, he was named as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the world by the American news magazine Time.File:Vase animation.svg|Reproduction of the 3rd-millennium BC goblet from southeastern Iran, possibly the world's oldest example of animation.File:Behrouz Vossoughi.jpg|Behrouz Vossoughi, a well-known Iranian actor who has appeared in over 90 films.File:Kiarostami-1940.jpg|Abbas Kiarostami (1940–2016), an acclaimed Iranian film director.


{{See also|List of festivals in Iran}}File:7SEEN 89.jpg|thumb|Haft-Seen, a customary of NowruzNowruzIran's official New Year begins with Nowruz, an ancient Iranian tradition celebrated annually on the vernal equinox. It is enjoyed by people adhering to different religions, but is considered a holiday for the Zoroastrians. It was registered on the UNESCO's list of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2009,WEB,weblink Proclamation of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity (2001–2005) – intangible heritage – Culture Sector – UNESCO,, 2000, 29 November 2015, described as the Persian New Year,WEB,weblinkweblink 6 March 2010, Norouz Persian New Year, British Museum, 25 March 2010, 6 April 2010, NEWS,weblink General Assembly Fifty-fifth session 94th plenary meeting Friday, 9 March 2001, 10 a.m. New York, United Nations General Assembly, 9 March 2001, 6 April 2010, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 5 August 2006, dmy, WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 22 March 2010, Nowrooz, a Persian New Year Celebration, Erupts in Iran – Yahoo!News,, 16 March 2010, 6 April 2010, WEB,weblink US mulls Persian New Year outreach, Washington Times, 19 March 2010, 6 April 2010, shared with a number of other countries in which it has historically been celebrated.On the eve of the last Wednesday of the preceding year, as a prelude to Nowruz,NEWS,weblink The Celebration of Spring in Iran, Lezgee, Hoda, 20 March 2015, Nevertheless, the most important curtain-raiser to Norouz is Chaharshanbe Soori which is a fire festival held on the eve of the last Wednesday of the calendar year. This festival is full of special customs and rituals, especially jumping over fire., the ancient festival of Čāršanbe Suri celebrates Ātar ("fire") by performing rituals such as jumping over bonfires and lighting off firecrackers and fireworks.NEWS,weblink Call for Safe Yearend Celebration, 12 March 2017, Financial Tribune, The ancient tradition has transformed over time from a simple bonfire to the use of firecrackers..., NEWS,weblink Light It Up! Iranians Celebrate Festival of Fire, 19 March 2014, NBC News, The Nowruz celebrations last by the end of the 13th day of the Iranian year (Farvardin 13, usually coincided with 1 or 2 April), celebrating the festival of Sizdebedar, during which the people traditionally go outdoors to picnic.WEB,weblink Iranians mark Sizdah Bedar in nature, Press TV, 1 April 2016, Yaldā, another nationally celebrated ancient tradition,NEWS,weblink Rezaian, Lachin, Mehr News Agency, 20 December 2015, Yalda: Iranian celebration of winter solstice, commemorates the ancient goddess Mithra and marks the longest night of the year on the eve of the winter solstice ({{transl|fa|čelle ye zemestān}}; usually falling on 20 or 21 December),BOOK,weblink No More "us" and "them": Classroom Lessons and Activities to Promote Peer Respect, Roessing, Lesley, 2012, 89, 978-1-61048-812-9, NEWS,weblink In ancient tradition, Iranians celebrate winter solstice, Hamedy, Saba, Los Angeles Times, 20 December 2013, during which families gather together to recite poetry and eat fruits—particularly the red fruits watermelon and pomegranate, as well as mixed nuts.BOOK,weblink Religions of Iran: From Prehistory to the Present, Foltz, Richard, Oneworld Publications, 2013, 29, 978-1-78074-307-3, Foltz, Richard, BOOK,weblink We Are Iran: The Persian Blogs, Alavi, Nasrin, 8 November 2015, Soft Skull Press, 135, In some regions of the provinces of Mazanderan and Markazi,WEB,weblink Historical ceremonies of Iran, IRIB World Service, IRIB English Radio, 29 April 2013, ...people in Mazandaran province celebrate Tirgan., dead,weblink" title="">weblink 10 October 2017, dmy-all, JOURNAL,weblink Journal of History Culture and Art Research, Examining the Social Function of Dramatic Rituals of Mazandaran with Emphasis on Three Rituals of tir mā sizeŝu, bisto šeše aydimā, and čake se mā, Ahmadzadeh, Fatemeh, Mohandespour, Farhad, February 2017, 839, ...Tirgan called tir mā sizeŝu (thirteen night of Tir) is still held in Mazandaran., WEB,weblink Ceremonies in Iran, 22 March 2010, Mehraby, Rahman,, ...people in Mazandaran province celebrate Tirgan., NEWS,weblink 22 June 2011, Tirgan Festival in Markazi Province, Iran (newspaper), Iran Daily, there is also the midsummer festival of Tirgān,BOOK,weblink The Mertowney Mountain Interviews, iUniverse, Leviton, Richard, 16 July 2014, 252, ...the summer solstice festival, called Tiregan, ..., 978-1-4917-4129-0, which is observed on Tir 13 (2 or 3 July) as a celebration of water.BOOK,weblink Revelation and the Environment, AD 95-1995, Hobson, Sarah, Lubchenco, Jane, 151, 5 August 1997, World Scientific, Tirgan, is a joyous celebration of water in the height of summer, ..., 978-981-4545-69-3, BOOK,weblink Emotional Schema Therapy, Leahy, Robert L., Guilford Press, Guilford Publications, 2015, 212, ..., Tirgan (thanksgiving for water), ..., 978-1-4625-2054-1, Alongside the ancient Iranian celebrations, Islamic annual events such as Ramezān, Eid e Fetr, and Ruz e Āšurā are marked by the country's large Muslim population, Christian traditions such as Noel,NEWS,weblink In Iran, Muslim youth are 'even more excited about Christmas than Christians', France 24, 23 December 2013, WEB,weblink Christians enjoy peace, security in Iran: Archbishop, 1 January 2017, Press TV, Čelle ye Ruze, and Eid e PākNEWS,weblink Iranian Christians cCelebrate Easter, 17 April 2017, Tasnim News Agency, are observed by the Christian communities, Jewish traditions such as Purim,MAGAZINE,weblink 13 March 2014, Secunda, Shai, Reading Megillah in Tehran: How Iranian Jews Celebrate Purim, Tablet (magazine), Tablet, Hanukā,NEWS,weblink Iranian Jews observe Hanukkah, 28 November 2013, Al-Monitor, 6 July 2017, and Eid e Fatir (Pesah)NEWS,weblink Iran Jews Celebrate Passover, Persian-style, Haaretz, 25 April 2011, NEWS,weblink Holzel, David, Persian Passover, 24 May 2013, Washington Jewish Week, are observed by the Jewish communities, and Zoroastrian traditions such as SadeNEWS,weblink Iranians celebrate ancient Persian fire fest, 31 January 2010, Dareini, Ali Akbar, NBC News, and Mehrgān are observed by the Zoroastrians.

Public holidays

{{See also|Iranian calendars}}Iran's official calendar is the Solar Hejri calendar, beginning at the vernal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere, which was first enacted by the Iranian Parliament on 31 March 1925.ENCYCLOPEDIA,weblink Encyclopædia Iranica, Calendars, The solar Hejrī (Š. = Šamsī) and Šāhanšāhī calendars, 4 July 2017, Each of the 12 months of the Solar Hejri calendar correspond with a zodiac sign, and the length of each year is absolutely solar. The months are named after the ancient Iranian months, namely Farvardin ({{transl|ae|Fravaši}}), Ordibehešt ({{transl|ae|Aša Vahišta}}), Xordād ({{transl|ae|Haurvatāt}}), Tir ({{transl|ae|Tištrya}}), Amordād ({{transl|ae|Amərətāt}}), Šahrivar ({{transl|ae|Xšaθra Vairya}}), Mehr ({{transl|ae|Miθra}}), Ābān ({{transl|ae|Āpō}}), Āzar ({{transl|ae|Ātar}}), Dey ({{transl|ae|Daθuš}}), Bahman ({{transl|ae|Vohu Manah}}), and Esfand ({{transl|ae|Spəntā Ārmaiti}}).Alternatively, the Lunar Hejri calendar is used to indicate Islamic events, and the Gregorian calendar remarks the international events.Legal public holidays based on the Iranian solar calendar include the cultural celebrations of Nowruz (Farvardin 1–4; 21–24 March) and Sizdebedar (Farvardin 13; 2 April), and the political events of Islamic Republic Day (Farvardin 12; 1 April), the death of Ruhollah Khomeini (Khordad 14; 4 June), the Khordad 15 event (Khordad 15; 5 June), the anniversary of the 1979 Revolution (Bahman 22; 10 February), and Oil Nationalization Day (Esfand 29; 19 March).WEB,weblink Iran Public Holidays 2017, Mystery of Iran, 6 July 2017, Lunar Islamic public holidays include Tasua (Muharram 9; 30 September), Ashura (Muharram 10; 1 October), Arba'een (Safar 20; 10 November), the death of Muhammad (Safar 28; 17 November), the death of Ali al-Ridha (Safar 29 or 30; 18 November), the birthday of Muhammad (Rabi-al-Awwal 17; 6 December), the death of Fatimah (Jumada-al-Thani 3; 2 March), the birthday of Ali (Rajab 13; 10 April), Muhammad's first revelation (Rajab 27; 24 April), the birthday of Muhammad al-Mahdi (Sha'ban 15; 12 May), the death of Ali (Ramadan 21; 16 June), Eid al-Fitr (Shawwal 1–2; 26–27 June), the death of Ja'far al-Sadiq (Shawwal 25; 20 July), Eid al-Qurban (Zulhijja 10; 1 September), and Eid al-Qadir (Zulhijja 18; 9 September).


File:Kebab Bakhtyari.jpg|thumb|Chelow kabab (rice and kebab), one of Iran's national dishes.NEWS,weblink London Evening Standard, Dindin Kitchen – restaurant review, May 1, 2014, NEWS,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, December 30, 2017, Huddersfield Daily Examiner, Restaurant review: Apadana, Huddersfield, June 21, 2013, WEB,weblink A Maple Syrup Mecca for Iran's Gays, August 10, 2014, The Daily BeastThe Daily BeastDue to its variety of ethnic groups and the influences from the neighboring cultures, the cuisine of Iran is diverse. Herbs are frequently used, along with fruits such as plums, pomegranate, quince, prunes, apricots, and raisins. To achieve a balanced taste, characteristic flavorings such as saffron, dried lime, cinnamon, and parsley are mixed delicately and used in some special dishes. Onion and garlic are commonly used in the preparation of the accompanying course, but are also served separately during meals, either in raw or pickled form.Iranian cuisine includes a wide range of main dishes, including various types of kebab, pilaf, stew (khoresh), soup and āsh, and omelette. Lunch and dinner meals are commonly accompanied by side dishes such as plain yogurt or mast-o-khiar, sabzi, salad Shirazi, and torshi, and might follow dishes such as borani, Mirza Qasemi, or kashk e bademjan as the appetizer.In Iranian culture, tea ({{transl|fa|čāy}}) is widely consumed.BOOK, Iran – Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture, Williams, Stuart., DRINKING,weblink Iranians are obsessive tea drinkers, BOOK,weblink Iranian Rappers and Persian Porn: A Hitchhiker's Adventures in the New Iran, Maslin, Jamie., Iran is a nation of obsessive tea drinkers, 58, 978-1-60239-791-0, 2009, Iran is the world's seventh major tea producer,Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations—Production FAOSTAT. Retrieved 30 April 2010. and a cup of tea is typically the first thing offered to a guest.BOOK,weblink Burke, Andrew, Elliott, Mark, Mohammadi, Kamin, Yale, Pat, yes, Iran, Lonely Planet, 2004, 978-1-74059-425-7, 75–76, One of Iran's most popular desserts is the falude,BOOK,weblink The Foodspotting Field Guide, Chronicle Books, Foodspotting, 18 March 2014, 24 / Dessert: Faloodeh, 978-1-4521-3008-8, consisting of vermicelli in a rose water syrup, which has its roots in the fourth century BC.BOOK,weblink Refrigeration: A History, Gantz, Carroll, McFarland, 24 January 2015, 14, 978-1-4766-1969-9, BOOK,weblink A History of The World in Five Menus, Belton, Howard, AuthorHouse, 13 March 2015, Ice cream, 978-1-4817-9195-3, There is also the popular saffron ice cream, known as bastani sonnati ("traditional ice cream"),WEB,weblink Henninger, Danya,, Franklin Fountain has an ImPeach sundae with 'nuts from the cabinet', 7 February 2017, which is sometimes accompanied with carrot juice.BOOK,weblink Taste of Persia: A Cook's Travels Through Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, and Kurdistan, Duguid, Naomi, 353, ...havij bastani, a kind of ice cream float, made with Persian ice cream and carrot juice, 978-1-57965-727-7, 2016-09-06, Iran is also famous for its caviar.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 16 July 2005, Sturgeon Stocks Slump,, 21 June 2013,


File:Dizin ski resort.jpg|thumb|Skiers at the Dizin Ski Resort ]]{{multiple image
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|caption2=Taekwondo athlete Kimia Alizadeh wins bronze at the 2016 Summer Olympics.
}}With two thirds of the population under the age of 25, many sports are played in Iran.Iran is most likely the birthplace of polo,WEB,weblink The History of Polo,, 27 March 2015, WEB,weblink The origins and history of Polo,, Ben Johnson, 27 March 2015, locally known as čowgān, with its earliest records attributed to the ancient Medes.BOOK, Singh, Jaisal, 2007, Polo in India, London, New Holland, 10, 978-1-84537-913-1, Freestyle wrestling is traditionally considered the national sport of Iran, and the national wrestlers have been world champions on many occasions. Iran's traditional wrestling, called košti e pahlevāni ("heroic wrestling"), is registered on UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage list.Being a mountainous country, Iran is a venue for skiing, snowboarding, hiking, rock climbing,WEB,weblink Rock Climbing Routes, Gear, Photos, Videos & Articles,, 27 October 2009, 18 June 2011, and mountain climbing.WEB,weblink Iran Mountain Zone (IMZ),, 11 June 1966, 18 June 2011, WEB,weblink Mountaineering in Iran,, 18 June 2011, dead,weblink 7 July 2011, dmy, It is home to several ski resorts, the most famous being Tochal, Dizin, and Shemshak, all within one to three hours traveling from the capital city Tehran.WEB,weblink Iran – Guide to Skiing and Snowboarding,, 2015, 29 November 2015, The resort of Tochal, located in the Alborz mountain rage, is the world's fifth-highest ski resort ({{convert|3730|m|ft|0|abbr=on|disp=or}} at its highest station).Iran's National Olympic Committee was founded in 1947. Wrestlers and weightlifters have achieved the country's highest records at the Olympics. In September 1974, Iran became the first country in West Asia to host the Asian Games. The Azadi Sport Complex, which is the largest sport complex in Iran, was originally built for this occasion.File:Persepolis fans at Azadi Stadium 1396.jpg|thumb|left|The Azadi Stadium, West Asia's largest football stadium, in TehranTehranSoccer has been regarded as the most popular sport in Iran, with men's national team having won the Asian Cup on three occasions. Men's national team has maintained its position as the best Asian squad, as it ranks first in Asia and 37th in the world according to the FIFA World Rankings ({{as of|June 2018|lc=y}}).WEB,weblink Iran: FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking,, 11 June 2018, Volleyball is the second most popular sport in Iran.WEB,weblink AIPS Web Site – USA Volleyball president tips Iran to qualify for Rio, 2 Dec 2011,, 26 October 2015, WEB,weblink WorldofVolley :: Volleyball pioneer Ahmad Masajedi says Iran's rise to the top won't stop,, 26 October 2015, Having won the 2011 and 2013 Asian Men's Volleyball Championships, men's national team is currently the strongest team in Asia, and ranks eighth in the FIVB World Rankings ({{as of|2017|July|lc=y}}).Basketball is also popular,NEWS,weblink 21 April 2012, ESPN, Sam, Alipour, Mission Improbable, 21 April 2012, with men's national team having won three Asian Championships since 2007.In 2016, Iran made global headlines for international female champions boycotting tournaments in Iran in chess (U.S. Woman Grandmaster Nazí Paikidze)WEB,weblink The 22-year-old chess star boycotting Iran World Championships over hijab, BBC, 5 October 2016, 1 November 2016, WEB,weblink 'I will NOT wear a hijab': U.S. chess star refuses to attend world championships in Iran, Washington Post, 6 October 2016, 1 November 2016, and in shooting (Indian world champion Heena Sidhu),WEB,weblink Shooter Heena Sidhu withdraws from tournament in Iran, says won't wear hijab, thenewsminute, 29 October 2016, 1 November 2016, as they refused to enter a country where they would be forced to wear a hijab.


Iran is one of the countries with the worst freedom of the press situation, ranking 164th out of 180 countries on the Press Freedom Index (as of 2018).WEB,weblink Reporters Without Borders, Iranian court imposes total ban on Telegram, 4 May 2018, 2 December 2018, The Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance is Iran's main government department responsible for the cultural policy, including activities regarding communications and information.WEB,weblink Iran's Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance calls for expansion of ties with UNESCO, UNESCO, 2 December 2018, 15 December 2014, Iran's first newspapers were published during the reign of Naser al-Din Shah of the Qajar dynasty in the mid-19th century.BOOK, Abbas, Milani, Eminent Persians,weblink 2008, Syracuse University Press, 978-0-8156-0907-0, 395, Most of the newspapers published in Iran are in Persian, the country's official language. The country's most widely circulated periodicals are based in Tehran, among which are Etemad, Ettela'at, Kayhan, Hamshahri, Resalat, and Shargh. Tehran Times, Iran Daily, and Financial Tribune are among English-language newspapers based in Iran.Television was introduced in Iran in 1958.BOOK, William Bayne Fisher, P. Avery, G. R. G. Hambly, C. Melville, The Cambridge History of Iran,weblink 10 October 1991, Cambridge University Press, 978-0-521-20095-0, 810–811, Although the 1974 Asian Games were broadcast in color, full color programming began in 1978. Since the 1979 Revolution, Iran's largest media corporation is the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB). Despite the restrictions on non-domestic television, about 65% of the residents of the capital city and about 30 to 40% of the residents outside the capital city access worldwide television channels through satellite dishes, although observers state that the figures are likely to be higher.NEWS,weblink Nothing Comes Between Iranians And Their Satellite Dishes – Not Even The Police, 13 March 2012, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, WEB, France 24,weblink Iran's war on satellite dishes: "We just buy new ones the next day", 20 December 2012, Iran received access to the Internet in 1993. According to Internet World Stats, {{as of|2017|lc=y}}, around 69.1% of the population of Iran are Internet users.WEB, Internet World Stats,weblink Iran Internet usage, broadband and telecommunications reports, 2 December 2018, Iran ranks 17th among countries by number of Internet users. According to the statistics provided by the web information company of Alexa, Google Search is Iran's most widely used search engine and Instagram is the most popular online social networking service.WEB, Alexa Internet,weblink Top Sites in Iran, 2 December 2018, Direct access to many worldwide mainstream websites has been blocked in Iran, including Facebook, which has been blocked since 2009 due to the organization of anti-governmental protests on the website.WEB, 30 April 2008,weblink Facebook Faces Censorship in Iran, American Islamic Congress, 29 August 2007, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 24 April 2008, dmy-all, However, {{as of|2017|lc=y}}, Facebook has around 40 million subscribers based in Iran (48.8% of the population) who use virtual private networks and proxy servers to access the website. Some of the officials themselves have verified accounts on the social networking websites that are blocked by the authorities, including Facebook and Twitter.NEWS, France 24,weblink How Iranian authorities break their own censorship laws, 23 March 2016, About 90% of Iran's e-commerce takes place on the Iranian online store of Digikala, which has around 750,000 visitors per day and more than 2.3 million subscribers and is the most visited online store in the Middle East.NEWS, The Guardian,weblink From Digikala to Hamijoo: the Iranian startup revolution, phase two, Kamali Dehghan, Saeed, 13 May 2015,

See also






  • BOOK, Axworthy, Michael, A History of Iran: Empire of the Mind, Basic Books, 2008, 978-0-465-09876-7, harv,
  • BOOK, Foltz, Richard, Iran in World History, Oxford University Press, 2016, 978-0-19-933550-3, harv,
  • Iran: A Country Study. 2008, Washington, DC: Library of Congress, 354 pp.
  • BOOK, Mikaberidze, Alexander, Conflict and Conquest in the Islamic World: A Historical Encyclopedia, 1, ABC-CLIO, 2011, 978-1-59884-336-1, harv,
  • BOOK, Fisher, William Bayne, Avery, P., Hambly, G.R.G, Melville, C., The Cambridge History of Iran, 7,weblink Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1991, 978-0-521-20095-0, harv,
  • BOOK, Roisman, Joseph, Worthington, Ian, A Companion to Ancient Macedonia, John Wiley and Sons, 2011, 978-1-4443-5163-7,weblink harv,

External links

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Eastern Philosophy
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