Introduction

Location of Iran
Islamic Republic of Iran
جمهوری اسلامی ایران (Persian)
Jomhuri-ye Eslâmi-ye Irân
ISO 3166 codeIR

Iran, (Persian: ايران, Īrān; pronunciation: [iːˈɾɒn]), officially the Islamic Republic of Iran (Persian: جمهوری اسلامی ايران, transliteration: Jomhūrī-ye Eslāmī-ye Īrān), formerly known internationally as Persia, is a country in Western Asia. The 18th largest country in the world, Iran is approximately the size of the United Kingdom, France, Spain, and Germany combined and has a population of over 82 million people. Iran borders Armenia, Azerbaijan, to the north-west, Russia and Kazakhstan through the Caspian Sea to the north, Turkmenistan to the north-east, Afghanistan and Pakistan to the east, and Turkey and Iraq to the west. The greater part of Iran is situated on the Iranian plateau. In addition, it borders the Persian Gulf, an important oil-producing area, and the Caspian Sea. Shi'a Islam is the official state religion and Persian the official language. The political system of Iran comprises several intricately connected governing bodies and is based on the 1979 Constitution. The highest state authority is the Supreme Leader, currently served by Ali Khamenei.

Iran has one of the oldest histories in the world, extending more than 5000 years, and throughout history, Iran has been of geostrategic importance because of its central location in Eurasia and Western Asia. Iran is a founding member of the UN, NAM, OIC, OPEC, and ECO. Iran as a major regional power occupies an important position in the world economy due to its substantial reserves of petroleum and natural gas, and has considerable regional influence in Western Asia. The name Iran is a cognate of Aryan and literally means "Land of the Aryans." (Full article...)

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A Paykan seen here in the countryside.
Credit: Fabienkhan

An old model of Peykan near Chaldoran, West Azerbaijan, Iran.

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Maybe my guilt is that I am an Iranian, born here and want to die here too — Sadegh Hedayat, 1945

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