Iran x x x
Iran x x x
It is bordered to the northwest by Armenia, the de facto Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, and Azerbaijan; to the northeast by Turkmenistan; to the east by Afghanistan and Pakistan; to the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman; to the north by the Caspian Sea; and to the west by Turkey and Iraq.
beginning with the formation of the Proto-Elamite and Elamite kingdoms in 3200–2800 BC.
The area was first unified by the Iranian Medes in 625 BC, who became the dominant cultural and political power in the region.
Iran reached its greatest geographic extent during the Achaemenid Empire founded by Cyrus the Great in 550 BC, which at one time stretched from parts of Eastern Europe in the west, to the Indus Valley in the east, making it the largest empire the world had yet seen.
The empire collapsed in 330 BC following the conquests of Alexander the Great, but reemerged shortly after as the Parthian Empire.
Under the Sassanid Dynasty, Iran again became one of the leading powers in the world for the next four centuries.
Beginning in 633 AD, Rashidun Arabs conquered Iran and largely displaced the indigenous faiths of Manichaeism and Zoroastrianism by Sunni Islam. in 1953, Iran gradually became closely aligned with the United States and the rest of the West but grew increasingly autocratic.
Iran became a major contributor to the Islamic Golden Age that followed, producing many influential scientists, scholars, artists, and thinkers. — exert considerable influence in international energy security and the world economy.
The rise of the Safavid Dynasty in 1501 led to the establishment of Twelver Shia Islam as the official religion of Iran, marking one of the most important turning points in Iranian and Muslim history. Iran's rich cultural legacy is reflected in part by its 21 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the third-largest number in Asia and 11th-largest in the world.
Popular unrest culminated in the Persian Constitutional Revolution of 1906, which established a constitutional monarchy and the country's first legislative body, the Majles. Iran is a founding member of the UN, ECO, NAM, OIC, and OPEC.
Its political system is based on the 1979 Constitution which combines elements of a parliamentary democracy with a theocracy governed by Islamic jurists under the concept of a Supreme Leadership.
A multicultural country comprising numerous ethnic and linguistic groups, most inhabitants are Shia Muslims and Persian is the official language.
The term Iran derives directly from Middle Persian Ērān, first attested in a 3rd-century inscription at Rustam Relief, with the accompanying Parthian inscription using the term Aryān, in reference to Iranians. As the most extensive interactions the Ancient Greeks had with any outsider was with the Persians, the term persisted, even long after the Persian rule in Greece.