Flag of Iran

Language: Persian

Currency: Rial (IRR)

Calling Code: 98


The Islamic Republic of Iran (Persian: جمهوری اسلامی ایران) is a state in the Middle East and West Asia. From the first millennium B.C. Until 1935, it was known as Persia in the West, but the designation Iran is still valid and accepted today. It is bordered by Pakistan and Afghanistan to the east, Turkmenistan to the northeast, the Caspian Sea to the north, Azerbaijan and Armenia to the northwest, Turkey and Iraq to the west, and the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman to the south.

With a land area of 1,648 195 km², Iran is the 18th largest country in the world. It is a geopolitically important country located between the Middle East, Central Asia, and South Asia. Tehran is the capital and the political, industrial, commercial, and cultural center of the country. Iran is a regional power with large hydrocarbon reserves (4th largest in the world in oil reserves and 1st in gas reserves), and is a potential superpower, with significant oil revenues reported over the decades.

The ethnic diversity of Iran's people, including Persians, Kurds, Turks, Lors, Arabs, Turkmen, and Baloch, is part of Iranian culture and gives this vast territory a special appeal. After Iraq, Iran is the second oldest home of civilization. The first known dynasty in western Iran is that of Elam, which dates from 2800 BC. In 625 B.C. the Medes formed the first empire encompassing "Greater Iran. It was succeeded by the Achaemenids, then hellenized by the Seleucids after the conquest by Alexander the Great, and reintegrated by successive empires, the Arsacids and the Sassanids, in reference to their own country. The Muslim conquest in 651 A.D. spread the Persian language throughout the Iranian plateau and various aspects of Iranian culture throughout the Muslim world.

In 1501, the Safavid dynasty emerged and the previously majority Sunni sect was replaced by Shia as the official religion of the kingdom. Under the regime of Nader Shah, which began in 1736, Iran achieved its greatest territorial expansion since the Sassanid dynasty. in the 19th century, the Russo-Persian War (1804~In the early 20th century, the Constitutional Revolution of 1906 established the first legislative assembly in Iran (and on the Asian continent) and vested monarchical power in a constitution. 1953, Prime Minister Mossadegh, who had nationalized oil two years earlier, was defeated by British and Shah Reza Pahlavi was overthrown in a coup orchestrated by the United States, and Shah Reza Pahlavi assumed greater authority over the country's politics. The monarchy came to an end in 1979 with a popular revolution that led to the Islamic Revolution, ended by the Shiites led by Khomeini, and the Islamic Republic was established on April 1, 1979; in 2015, a joint full action plan with the P5+1 on Iran's nuclear program was signed.

Iran is a founding member of the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and OPEC. Iran's political system is based on the 1979 Constitution of the Islamic Republic, which governs the relationship between the various branches of government. The supreme authority is the Supreme Leader of Iran, but day-to-day administrative management is the responsibility of the President. The official religion of Iran is Islam, and the official language is Persian.


Travel Destination in Iran

Arg-é Bam is a medieval adobe fortress in the Kerman province of Iran.

Chogha Zanbil is a site of a massive ancient Elamite religious buildings.

Persepolis is an Ancient capital of the Persian Empire destroyed by Alexander the Great as a revenge for burning Athens.



The modern name of Iran is Irɒn (ايراﻥ); Erān goes back to Avesta; Airyāna is formed from the ancient Indo-Iranian self-designation "Aryan", adjective "Aryan country", or in expressions like Avesta, genitive "Aryan country" in the genitive "Aryan nation".

During the Achaemenid period (550-327 B.C.), the ancient Iranian concept of "Aryānam dahunam" was transformed into another Persian term, "Aryānam Xšaθram," or "Aryan nation," which later became the Arshakid (250 B.C. - 224 A.D.) state name "Aryānšaθr / Aryānšahr". According to Richard Frye, "With the expansion of the Parthians, the word Arya (Aryane of Greek origin) eventually became so widespread that it became the equivalent of the name "Great Arya," or Eranshahr, the "kingdom of the Aryans," as the Sassanid dynasty called its vast homeland. It seems to have spread". Strabo's Ariana (Άριανή) meant the eastern provinces of the Persian kingdom: Gedrosia, Drangiana, Arachosia, Paropamiz, Aria (i.e. Areia, the ancient Persian Haraiva, now Herat), Parthia, Carmania.

The state name of the Sāsānid dynasty (224-651) is Pale; Erānšahr is derived from Avesta. It means "Airyānam Xšaθram" or "Kingdom of the Aryans." The Avestan double vowel "ai" changed to the Middle Persian "e". The official title of the Sasanian dynasty was: "King of the Kings of Elan and Aneran."

The self-proclaimed title of the Iranians is Irani. Even though Iranians had long called their country Iran, the ancient Greek name "Persia" was generally accepted by the rest of the world until 1935, when Shah Reza demanded that other countries call their country Iran as well.


History of Iran

The history of the state in Iran is one of the oldest in the world, spanning almost 5,000 years according to documentary sources. The first state on the territory of Iran was Elam, which was created in Khuzestan in the third millennium B.C. The first state in Iran was the Persian Empire, which was founded in the fourth millennium B.C. The Persian Empire at the time of Darius I of Achaemenides already extended from Greece and Cyrenaica to the Indus and Tarim rivers. Known as Persia because of its long written history, Iran was one of the most influential political, cultural, and world centers for more than two millennia. For centuries, Zoroastrianism was the dominant religion; in the 16th century, Islam became the state religion of Iran.

The Persian Empire of Darius I stretched from Greece and Libya to the Indus River. Persia was the most populous nation in history (50% of the world's population were Achaemenid subjects) and one of the strongest and most influential culturally and politically until the 17th and 18th centuries, when it was transformed into a semi-colonial state by the end of the 19th century In 1935, Persia was renamed a country (northern Iran in Zoroastrianism and southern Afghanistan as Ariana) to Iran.

In 1979, the Islamic Revolution under the leadership of Ayatollah Khomeini overthrew the monarchy and proclaimed an Islamic republic.


Ancient Iran

The settlement of Iranian territory dates back to ancient times. At the beginning of the first millennium B.C., the Iranian people were predominant in their territory. Several tribes (Persians, Medes, Bactrians, Parthians) settled in the western part of the plateau, while Baloch settled in the east and on the coast of the Gulf of Oman.

The first important Iranian state was the Medes, founded in the late 8th or early 7th century B.C., with its capital at Hamadan (Ekbatana). The Medes soon established control over all of western Iran and parts of eastern Iran. Together with Babylonia, they defeated the Assyrian Empire and occupied northern Mesopotamia and Urartu.


Achaemenid Dynasty

In 553 B.C., Cyrus, the young Persian king of the Achaemenid dynasty, opposed the Medes. Cyrus occupied Ecbatana and proclaimed himself king of Persia and Media. At the same time, the Media king Istuweg was captured, but was later released and appointed governor of one of the provinces. until his death in 529 BC. Cyrus II subjugated the Achaemenid dynasty throughout the Mediterranean and Western Asia from Anatolia to Syr Darya. Earlier, in 546 B.C., Cyrus founded the kingdom's capital, Pasargadae, in Pharus, where he was buried. Cyrus' son, Cambyses II, extended his father's empire into Egypt and Ethiopia.

After the death of Cambyses, civil strife among his entourage and rebellions throughout the country followed, and Darius Hystaspes came to power. Darius quickly and caustically brought order to the empire and launched a new campaign of conquest. As a result, the Achaemenid Empire expanded west to the Balkans and east to the Indus River, becoming the largest and most powerful state in existence at the time. Darius also undertook a series of domestic reforms. The army was not subject to satraps, and at the same time, military leaders had no executive power. In addition, Darius instituted monetary reforms and circulated golden gifts. This, coupled with the construction of a paved road network, contributed to an unprecedented leap in trade relations.

Darius patronized Zoroastrianism and regarded the priesthood as the core of the Persian state system. Under him, this first monotheistic religion became the state religion of the empire. At the same time, the Persians became tolerant of the conquered peoples and their beliefs and culture. Darius I's successors began to violate the principles of internal structure introduced by the king, resulting in increased satrapy independence. Revolts broke out in Egypt, and riots broke out in Greece and Macedonia. Under these circumstances, the Macedonian commander Alexander launched a military campaign against the Persians, which defeated the Achaemenids by 330 BC.


Parthia and the Sassanids

After the death of Alexander the Great in 323 B.C., his empire was divided into several states. Most of the territory of present-day Iran belonged to the Seleucids, but the Parthian king Mithridates I soon launched a campaign of conquest against the Seleucids, adding not only Mesopotamia but also Persia to his territory. In 92 B.C. Parthia and Rome drew a border along the Euphrates River, but the Roman army almost immediately invaded Satrapi in western Parthia and was defeated. In retaliation, Parthia captured the entire Levant and Anatolia, but was driven back to the Euphrates River by Marco Antony's army. Soon after, Rome intervened in a dispute between Parthia and the Greek nobility, and a series of civil wars broke out in Parthia.

In 224, Ardashir Papacan, son of the ruler of the small town of Keil in Pars, defeated the Parthian army of Artaban IV and founded the second Persian empire of Iranshah ("Kingdom of the Aryans") with Firzabad as its capital, becoming the founder of the new dynasty of the Sassanids. The influence of the nobility and the Zoroastrian clergy increased, and persecution of the gentiles began. Administrative reforms took place. The Sassanids continued to fight against Rome and the nomads of Central Asia.

Under Tsar Khosrov I (531-579), aggressive expansion began: Antioch in 540 and Egypt in 562. The Byzantine Empire became dependent on Persian taxes. Coastal areas of the Arabian Peninsula, including Yemen, were occupied. Around the same time, Khosrov defeated the Hephthalites in what is now the territory of Tajikistan. Khosrov's military successes led to a flourishing trade and culture in Iran.

Khosrov II (590-628), grandson of Khosrov I, resumed war against Byzantium, but suffered defeat after defeat. The war was financed by exorbitant taxes from merchants and extortion from the poor. The result was a revolt throughout the country, and Khosrov was captured and executed. His grandson Yazdigild III (632-651) became the last Sasanian king. Despite the end of the war with Byzantium, the empire continued to crumble. In the south, Persia faced a new enemy: the Arabs.


Arab Conquests

Arab raids on Sassanid Iran began in 632. The Persian army suffered its greatest defeat at the Battle of Qadisiyah in 637. Arab conquest of Persia continued until 652, when Persia was incorporated into the Umayyad caliphate. The Arabs spread Islam to Iran, which greatly changed Persian culture. After the Islamization of Iran, literature, philosophy, art, and medicine developed rapidly in the caliphate. Persian culture became the basis for the beginning of the Islamic Golden Age.

In 750, the Persian general Abu Muslim led an Abbasid expedition against the Umayyads to Damascus and then to Baghdad, the capital of the caliphate. The new caliph was grateful, granting the Persian ruler a certain degree of autonomy and appointing several Persians as viziers. Nevertheless, in 822, Tahir bin Hussein bin Musab, governor of Khorasan, proclaimed the independence of the Khorasan region and declared himself the founder of a new Persian dynasty, the Taqirid dynasty. By the time the Sahmanid rule began, Iran had essentially regained its independence from the Arabs.


Turkic and Mongol Conquests

Despite the adoption of Islam by Persian society, Arabization in Iran was not successful. The implantation of Arab culture met with resistance from the Persians and became a driving force in their struggle for independence from the Arabs; the revival of Persian language and Persian literature, which peaked in the 9th and 10th centuries, played an important role in the recovery of Persian national identity. Ferdowsi's epic poem Shahmeh, written in Persian, gained fame in this regard.

In 962, the Turkic commander Alp-Tegin founded the Turkic state of Ghaznevid with Ghazni (Afghanistan) as its capital against the Samanids. Under the Ghaznavid dynasty, Persia's cultural prosperity continued. The Seljuk dynasty, which followed in their footsteps, moved its capital to Isfahan.

In 1220, northeastern Iran, part of the Turkic Khorezm kingdom, was attacked by the army of Genghis Khan. The entire territory of Khorasan and the eastern provinces of modern Iran was devastated. About half of the population was killed by the Mongols. The conquest of Iran was completed by Genghis Khan's grandson Hulagu. In the state he founded, his descendants, the Ilkhans, ruled until the mid-14th century.

Emir Timur, the great ruler and commander of the Turks, is popularly regarded in the West as the man who established Tamerlane's control over Iran. Tamerlane brought thousands of skilled craftsmen from Iran to his capital, Samarkand, and they built masterpieces of world architecture in Samarkand. For example, Tabriz craftsmen built the Gul Emir's Mausoleum in Samarkand. During the reign of Timur Shahrukh's youngest son, science and culture flourished in Iran. This continued into the reign of Timurid Sultan Hussein Baikala.

The centralization of Iran resumed with the coming to power of the Safavid Qizilbash dynasty, which put an end to the rule of the descendants of the Mongol conquerors.


Dynasties (1501-1979)

Shiism was adopted as the state religion in Iran during the reign of Shah Ismail I of the Safavid dynasty. After his victory over Arvand Khan, ruler of the Turkic state of Ak Koyunlu near Shahrur (Nakhchevan), Ismail entered Tabriz and proclaimed the Shah of Azerbaijan in July 1501. Ismail soon conquered all of Iran and acceded to the Shahinshah of Iran in May 1502 .Tabriz became the capital of the Safavid dynasty, and later the capital moved to Qazvin and then to Isfahan. During the reign of Abbas I, the Safavids defeated the Ottomans and annexed what is now Iraq, Afghanistan, parts of Pakistan, the territory of Azerbaijan, parts of Armenia and Georgia, and the provinces of Gilan and Mazandaran on the Caspian Sea coast, bringing the empire to its zenith. Thus, Iran's territory extends from the Tigris to the Indus River.

The conquered territories brought wealth and prosperity to Iran. Culture began to flourish. Iran became a centralized state and its military was modernized. However, after the death of Abbas the Great, the empire declined. Through misrule, the empire lost Kandahar and Baghdad, and in 1722, the Gilzai Afghans stormed Iran, took Isfahan on the move, and put Mahmud Khan on the throne. Later, Nadir Shah, commander of the last Safavid ruler Takhmasp II, killed him along with his son and established Afshar rule in Iran.

First, Nadir Shah changed the state religion to Sunni, defeated Afghanistan, and returned Kandahar to Persia. The retreating Afghan army fled to India. Nadir Shah asked Moghul Mohammed Shah of India not to receive them, but he did not agree, and Shah invaded India; In 1739, Nadir Shah's army entered Delhi, but was soon met with mutiny. After a massacre in Delhi, the Persians returned to Iran and sacked Delhi; In 1740, Nadir Shah led an expedition into Turkestan, which advanced the Iranian border as far as the Amudarya River. In the Caucasus, the Persians reached Dagestan; in 1747, Nadir Shah was murdered.

In 1750, power passed to the Zend dynasty led by Karim Khan. Karim Khan became the first Persian head of state in 700 years. He moved the capital to Shiraz. His reign was characterized by few wars and a flourishing culture. Zend's rule ended after only three generations and was succeeded by the Qajar dynasty in 1781. The founder of the dynasty, the eunuch Agha-Mohammed Khan, took retribution against the descendants of Zend and the Afshar dynasty. Having consolidated the power of the Qajar dynasty in Iran, Mohammed Khan conducted a campaign against Georgia, defeating Tbilisi and destroying more than 20,000 inhabitants of the city; a second campaign against Georgia in 1797 was carried out in Karabagh by his own servants (Georgians and Kurds) He was killed, so it was never carried out. Shortly before his death, Mohammed Khan moved the capital of Iran to Tehran.

As a result of a series of failed wars with the Russian Empire, Qajar Persia lost territory now occupied by Azerbaijan and Armenia. In 1906, after long protests, a constitutional revolution took place and Iran became a constitutional monarchy; in the summer of 1918, British troops occupied all of Iran; on August 9, 1919, the Anglo-Iranian Agreement was signed, establishing full British control over the Iranian economy and military. On February 21, 1921, Reza Khan Pahlavi overthrew Ahmed Shah and proclaimed the new Shah in 1925. signed a new treaty, recognizing Iran's full independence. Pahlavi circulated the term "Shahinshah" ("king among kings"). On the Persian New Year, i.e., March 22, 1935, the name of the state was officially changed from Persia to Iran. Iran's massive industrialization began and its infrastructure was completely modernized. During World War II, Shahinshah refused British and Soviet requests to deploy troops to Iran. The Allies then invaded Iran, overthrew the Shah, and took control of the railroads and oil fields; In 1942, Iranian sovereignty was restored and power passed to the Shah's son, Mohammed. Nevertheless, the Soviet Union, fearing an invasion from Turkey, stationed troops in northern Iran until May 1946.


After the war, Mohammed Reza pursued an aggressive westernization and de-Islamization policy, which was not always well understood by the public; In 1951, Mohammed Mossadegh became chairman of the Iranian government and took an active role in reform, calling for a review of the agreement on profit sharing for British oil. Iran's oil industry was nationalized. In the U.S., however, a coup plan was immediately drawn up with the active participation of British special agencies and executed in August 1953 by Kermit Roosevelt, grandson of President Theodore Roosevelt. Mossadegh was dismissed and imprisoned; Three years later, Mossadegh was released and placed under house arrest until his death in 1967.

In 1957, the secret police SAVAK was created.

In 1963, as a result of a series of radical reforms (the "White Revolution"), Rabbi Khomeini was expelled from the country. This reform and de-Islamization led to a flurry of anti-government propaganda; in 1965, Prime Minister Hassan Ali Mansour was fatally wounded by members of the Fedayeen Islamic Group; in 1973, in the course of a policy to consolidate the power of the Shah, all political parties and associations were. By the end of the 1970s, Iran was embroiled in a massive protest movement that resulted in the overthrow of the Pahlavi regime and the eventual abolition of the monarchy. 1979 saw the Islamic Revolution and the establishment of the Islamic Republic, which was followed by a series of political uprisings and the establishment of the Shah's regime, which was followed by the establishment of the Rastakhi Party in 1975.


Islamic republic

The Islamic revolution in Iran was the transition from the Shah's monarchical Pahlavi regime to an Islamic republic led by Ayatollah Khomeini, the leader of the revolution and the founder of the new order. The beginning of the revolution is considered to be the massive anti-Shah protests in January 1978, suppressed by government forces. In January 1979, after the country was paralyzed by constant strikes and rallies, Pahlavi and his family left Iran, and on February 1, Khomeini, who was in exile in France, arrived in Tehran. The Ayatollah was greeted by millions of jubilant Iranians. On April 1, 1979, after a popular referendum, Iran was officially proclaimed an Islamic republic. On December 3 of the same year, a new constitution was adopted.

The internal political consequences of the revolution were manifested in the establishment of a theocratic regime of the Muslim clergy in the country, an increase in the role of Islam in absolutely all spheres of life. There have been dramatic changes in foreign policy. Iran's relations with the United States have become extremely strained. Diplomatic relations were severed on November 4, 1979, when the US embassy was seized in Tehran and the diplomats were held hostage for 444 days. The invaders (students, among whom, according to some sources, may have been the later president of Iran, then an officer of the IRGC special forces and an activist of the youth organization "Rallying Unity" - Mahmoud Ahmadinejad) claimed that they were pursuing CIA agents who were planning to overthrow the revolutionary government. They also demanded the extradition of the fleeing shah. Only in 1981, with the mediation of Algeria, the crisis was resolved and the hostages were released to their homeland.

Iran-Iraq War
Meanwhile, the President of neighboring Iraq, Saddam Hussein, has decided to take advantage of the internal instability in Iran and its strained relations with Western countries. Iran has been (not for the first time) territorial claims for areas along the Persian Gulf to the east of the Shatt al-Arab. In particular, Hussein demanded the transfer to Iraq of western Khuzestan, where the majority of the population were Arabs and there were huge oil reserves. These demands were ignored by Iran, and Hussein began preparations for a large-scale war. On September 22, 1980, the Iraqi army crossed the Shatt al-Arab and invaded Khuzestan, which came as a complete surprise to the Iranian leadership.

Although Saddam Hussein achieved considerable success in the first months of the war, the Iraqi army's offensive was soon halted, Iranian troops launched a counteroffensive and by mid-1982 drove the Iraqis out of the country. Khomeini decided not to stop the war, planning to "export" the revolution to Iraq. This plan relied primarily on the Shiite majority of eastern Iraq. Now the Iranian army has invaded Iraq with the intention of overthrowing Saddam Hussein. However, in subsequent years, Iran's military successes were insignificant, and in 1988 the Iraqi army launched a counteroffensive and liberated all the territories occupied by Iran. After that, a peace agreement was signed. The Iranian-Iraqi border has remained unchanged.


During the war, Iraq enjoyed the political, financial and military support of most Arab countries, the Soviet Union, China, and the United States and its allies. Iran was supported in one way or another by China, the USA, Israel and some other countries. During the hostilities, the Iraqi army has repeatedly used chemical weapons, including against peaceful Iranians. More than 100,000 people in Iran may have died from toxic chemicals. Iran's total losses in the eight-year war exceed 500,000.

In 1997, Mohammed Khatami was elected president of Iran, proclaiming the beginning of a policy of tolerant attitude to culture and the establishment of closer ties with Western countries. In the late 90s, European states began to restore economic ties with Iran, interrupted by the revolution. Nevertheless, the United States remained unchanged in its position. The American leadership has charged Iran with sponsoring terrorism and developing weapons of mass destruction. Later, US President George W. Bush assigned Iran the label of an "Axis of Evil" country.

On June 20, 2019, the IRGC air force shot down an American unmanned vehicle near the Strait of Hormuz. According to IRNA, the US RQ-4 Global Hawk drone violated Iranian airspace and was shot down by a surface-to-air missile over the province of Hormozgan. According to the US version, the MQ-4C Triton drone flew in international airspace and did not violate Iran's borders. The United States planned to retaliate against three military targets in Iran, however, according to Donald Trump, he canceled this decision 10 minutes before the attack.


State structure

According to the constitution adopted in 1979, Iran is an Islamic republic. As of 2019, Iran is one of the few existing theocracies in the world.

The head of state is the Supreme Leader. It determines the general policy of the country. Rahbar - Supreme Commander of the Iranian Armed Forces, head of military intelligence. The supreme leader appoints people to key positions in the state: the presidents of the courts, the head of the police and the commanders of all branches of the armed forces, as well as six of the twelve members of the Council of Guardians of the Constitution. The Supreme Leader is elected by the Council of Experts and is accountable to it.

The second most important official in Iran is the President. The President is the guarantor of the constitution and the head of the executive branch. Decisions on key issues are made only after the approval of the Chief Executive. The President appoints the members of the Council of Ministers and coordinates the work of the government. Ten vice presidents and 21 government ministers are approved for office by parliament. Although the president appoints the ministers of defense and intelligence, nominations must be approved in advance by the Supreme Leader. The president is elected by direct popular vote for a four-year term. Presidential candidates must be pre-approved by the Guardian Council.

Legislative power is represented by a unicameral parliament - the Majlis (pers. مجلس شورای اسلام - "Islamic Advisory Council"). The upper chamber was disbanded after the revolution in 1979. The Majlis consists of 290 members elected by popular vote for a four-year term. Parliament is responsible for drafting laws, ratifying international treaties and budgeting. All candidates for deputies of the Mejlis are also approved by the Council of Guardians.

The Council of Guardians of the Constitution consists of 12 members, 6 of whom are appointed by the Supreme Leader. The remaining 6 members are appointed by Parliament on the proposal of the Chairman of the Supreme Court. The Guardian Council approves candidates for key positions, including candidates for president, members of the government and parliament. The main duty of the Council is to check bills for compliance with Islamic law. If there are disagreements with the Shariah, the bill is sent for revision. In addition, the Council has the right to veto any decision of the Majlis.

The Council of Expediency resolves disputes arising between the Majlis and the Council of Guardians. The Expediency Council is also an advisory body under the Supreme Leader. The Council's chairman, former Iranian President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, is Rahbar's personal adviser.

The Council of Experts is made up of 86 members of the Islamic clergy and meets for a week each year. The Council of Experts elects the Supreme Leader and has the right to remove him from office at any time (although there has never been such a precedent: the current Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, is only the second in the history of the country, while the first, Khomeini, died while still in office). Council meetings are closed. Council members are elected by popular vote for an eight-year term.

Local governments are present in all cities and villages of Iran and are elected by popular vote for a four-year term. City (village) councils elect the mayor, monitor the work of the bureaucracy, are responsible for the development of education, medicine, housing and communal services and other domestic issues. The first local council elections were held in 1999. Since the activities of the councils are exclusively administrative and executive in nature, candidates for council members do not need to be approved by the Council of Experts.

The judiciary consists of the People's Court, dealing with civil and criminal cases, and the Revolutionary Court, which has jurisdiction over specific crimes, including those against the state. The verdict of the Revolutionary Court is not subject to appeal. In addition, there is a Special Spiritual Court. Decisions of this court are also not subject to appeal; it operates separately from the general judicial system. The highest instance of the Spiritual Court is Rahbar. He also appoints the chairmen of the People's and Revolutionary Courts.


Human rights

The laws of the Islamic Republic are based on Islamic law. The state apparatus is closely intertwined with the Islamic clergy. In this regard, there are restrictions on human rights, primarily related to religion. In particular, in the system of government there is a special body - the Council of Guardians of the Constitution, whose activities prohibit non-Muslims from holding the highest government posts, and members of parliament from drawing up bills that contradict Sharia. According to the Constitution (Article 13), in addition to Islam, only three religions are recognized: Christianity, Judaism and Zoroastrianism, believers of all other religions (Buddhists, Baha'is, etc.) are considered "unprotected infidels", they cannot be represented in parliament and do not have practically any legal rights.

Sexual minorities are also subject to persecution. Homosexual contact is a criminal offense punishable up to the death penalty. Cases of execution of minors are not uncommon: the case of two 16-year-old teenagers Mahmud Asgari and Ayaz Marchoni, who were accused of raping a minor and publicly hanged in the city square in the presence of a huge crowd of onlookers, received the widest publicity (they were also accused of drinking alcoholic beverages, disturbing public order and theft in the central square in Mashhad). The execution took place two weeks after the victory of the extremely conservative politician Ahmadinejad in the presidential elections.

One of the opposition leaders (Mehdi Karubi) accused the Iranian authorities of using torture against political prisoners. An article posted on his party's website mentions cases of brutal rape of prisoners.

Iran ranks second in the world (after China) in terms of the number of executions. In 2006, at least 215 people were executed in the country, including seven minors, in violation of the international convention on children's rights. According to statistics from the human rights group Amnesty International, more than 200 people were executed in Iran in 2007 for serious crimes.

There are some restrictions on freedom of the press: after the conservative wing came to power, most of the pro-reformist newspapers were closed. Broadcasting of Western music is prohibited. Restrictions apply not only to print media and television. The Internet is also censored. The activities of providers, including commercial ones, are controlled by the Ministry of Information. All newly registered websites in the .ir domain are subject to verification, and there is automatic e-mail filtering. Pornographic and anti-Islamic sites are prohibited. The websites of opposition organizations are mainly located on foreign servers.

Human rights organizations are also being persecuted in Iran. For example, the case of the seizure by the authorities of this country of the Nobel Peace Prize and the Order of the Legion of Honor from the well-known Iranian human rights activist Shirin Ebadi, as well as the closure of her Center for the Protection of Human Rights, received a wide international resonance.


Foreign policy

Until 1979, Iran was generally a pro-Western state. The Islamic Revolution of 1979, which took place on a wave of anti-Americanism, radically changed the country's foreign policy. The victory of the Islamic Revolution was marked by an international hostage-taking scandal at the American embassy in Tehran. This crisis led to a deterioration in relations with all Western countries, and also served as a pretext for breaking off diplomatic relations with the United States, which have not been restored to this day.

The revolution coincided in time with the entry of Soviet troops into Afghanistan, which had an extremely negative impact on relations with the USSR. Iran maintained diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union, but the proposals of the Soviet leadership to hold a bilateral meeting were ignored. It is also known that in 1988 Ayatollah sent a telegram to Gorbachev, in which he suggested that he build an Islamic republic in the USSR.

The revolution spoiled relations not only with the West, but also with the Arab world. In 1980, Iraq invaded the oil-rich Khuzestan, starting the Iran-Iraq War. Having knocked out Iraqi troops from Iran, the country's leadership planned to "export" the Islamic revolution to Iraq with the help of a counteroffensive. However, due to the rapid exhaustion of troops and the use of chemical weapons by the Iraqi army, these plans were not successful. Meanwhile, Iranian-American relations were further complicated after an American missile cruiser in the Persian Gulf shot down an Iranian passenger plane.

After the end of the Iran-Iraq war and with the death of Khomeini, Iran's relations with Europe began to gradually improve, which was largely facilitated by Rafsanjani's pragmatic policy. New relations were built with the independent republics of the collapsed USSR. In particular, Iran denounced Chechen separatism, thereby providing tacit support to Russia in this matter. Today, Iran is taking part in the reconstruction of the Chechen economy. Largely thanks to the diplomatic efforts of Iran, Russia was able to partially restore the lost influence in the Middle East and Central Asia. Russia agreed to continue the construction of a nuclear power plant in Bushehr, begun under Pahlavi.

However, Iran's relationship with the United States is still tense. This was largely facilitated by the victory of the ultra-conservative Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the presidential elections in Iran in 2005. His harsh statements about Israel spoiled relations with this state as well. The US and Israel accuse Iran of sponsoring terrorist organizations (in the US, Israel and the EU, Hezbollah, in particular, is considered a terrorist organization) and developing nuclear weapons. According to unconfirmed reports, the United States is preparing a missile attack on Iran's nuclear facilities.

Iran has diplomatic missions in most countries of the world. At the same time, like many other Islamic states, Iran does not recognize Israel. In the official statements of the Iranian Foreign Ministry, Israel is referred to as the "Zionist regime". There are no diplomatic relations with the US either. Iran is a member of the UN (since 1945), OIC, OPEC, SAARC, and is also an observer at the SCO.

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Russia since January 2009, Reza Sajjadi, has been writing a blog about Iran in Russian.

In 2012, Iran becomes the leader of the Non-Aligned Movement, becoming in August for 3 years the country-chairman of this movement, which is the second largest international structure after the UN.

Territorial disputes
There are territorial disputes between Iran and the United Arab Emirates over three islands in the Strait of Hormuz that control the entrance to the Persian Gulf. In the late 1940s, the sheikhs of the emirates of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, which were under the British protectorate, alternately owned the islands. In 1971, after the withdrawal of Great Britain from the region, the islands were supposed to go to the UAE, which included both of these emirates, but they were captured by the Shah's Iran. The islands still contain a significant military contingent.

There are also claims on the territory of Azerbaijan and Afghanistan and part of the territory of Pakistan.



Iran is located in southwestern Asia. In terms of area (1648 thousand km²), the country ranks seventeenth in the world. Iran borders with Azerbaijan (the length of the border is 611 km (with the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic - 179 km) and Armenia (36 km) in the northwest, with Turkmenistan (992 km) in the northeast, with Pakistan (909 km) and Afghanistan (936 km) in the east, with Turkey (499 km) and Iraq (1458 km) in the west.In the north it is washed by the Caspian Sea, in the south by the Persian and Oman gulfs of the Arabian Sea.

Most of the territory of Iran is located on the Iranian plateau, with the exception of the coast of the Caspian Sea and Khuzestan. Iran is generally a mountainous country. Dozens of mountain ranges and ranges separate river basins and plateaus from each other. The most populated western part of the country is also the most mountainous, where the Caucasus Mountains and Elburz are located. The highest point of Iran, Damavend Peak (5604 m), is located in the Elburz chain. The east of Iran is mainly covered with saline deserts and semi-deserts, including the largest - Deshte-Kevir and Deshte-Lut. The dominance of deserts in this region is explained by the impossibility of penetrating moist air masses from the Arabian and Mediterranean seas because of the mountains. With the exception of a few oases, these deserts are practically uninhabited.
Large plains are found only in the north of Iran along the coast of the Caspian Sea, as well as in the southwest - at the mouth of the Shatt al-Arab River along the coast of the Persian Gulf. Smaller plains are found along the southeastern coast of the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz, and the Gulf of Oman.



The climate of Iran varies from arid, characteristic of the predominant territory of the country, to subtropical along the coast of the Caspian Sea and in the northern forest regions. There, temperatures rarely drop below 0°C in winter and rarely exceed 29°C in summer. The average annual rainfall is 1700 mm in the west of the Caspian region and 680 mm in its east.

In the west of Iran, in the Zagros Mountains, the temperature is almost always below 0 ° C in winter, heavy snowfalls and strong winds are characteristic. In the central and eastern regions of the country, the climate is arid, with an average annual rainfall of less than 200 mm and average summer temperatures above 38 °C. On the plains along the shores of the Persian and Oman Gulfs, winters are mostly mild, while summers are hot and humid. The average annual rainfall is 135-355 mm. Thunderstorms are frequent in spring with heavy rains and hail.


Administrative divisions of Iran

The main administrative unit of Iran are ostans (Pers. استان‎ - ostān; pl. - استانﻫﺎ - ostānhā), which are divided into shahrestans (Pers. شهرستان‎), and those in turn - into bakhshi (Pers. بخش‎). Ostan's largest city is most often its capital (Persian مرکز‎ - markaz). Each stop is controlled by a governor (ostandar - استاندار). Iran is divided into 31 stops.

Until 1950, Iran was divided into only 12 stops: Ardalyan, Azerbaijan, Balochistan, Fars, Gilan, Araki-Ajam, Khorasan, Khuzestan, Kerman, Larestan, Lorestan and Mazandaran. In 1950, their number decreased to 10, and then increased to 28 between 1960 and 1981. In 2004, Khorasan was divided into 3 separate stops, and Tehran in 2010 into 2 separate stops.

In the 1950s-1990s, the country experienced a population explosion. The population has doubled since 1979, reaching 70,495,782 in 2006 and 75,149,669 in 2011. However, in the 1990s, the birth rate declined markedly and has now fallen below the simple replacement of generations. The total fertility rate is 1.87 (2.15 is necessary for the reproduction of generations). Over 61% of the population is under 30 (May 2009). The literacy rate is 84%, urbanization - 71%.

Thanks to the improvement in the state of medical and other infrastructure in rural areas after the Islamic Revolution, the overall mortality rate was able to drop sharply in a very short time - from 13 ‰ in 1978 to 7 ‰ in 1990 and 5 ‰ in 2014, and child mortality ( up to 5 years) - from 12.7% to 5.8% and 1.6%. Maternal mortality from 1990 to 2014 rapidly decreased - from 123 to 25 per 100 thousand live births, or 5 times.

The number of Iranians abroad exceeds 4 million. Most of them emigrated to Australia, North America and Europe after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. In addition, as of 1996, more than a million refugees lived in Iran itself, mainly from Afghanistan and Waziristan.

The Iranian constitution guarantees every citizen, regardless of nationality and religion, social protection: pension, unemployment benefit, disability, medical insurance. Education and medical services are free. The average annual per capita income is $2,700 (2006). About 18% of the population lives below the poverty line.

Iran is a multi-ethnic state. There is no official information about the ethnic composition of the population. According to the CIA's World Book of Facts, the following people live in the country: Persians (61%), Azerbaijanis (16%), Kurds (10%), Lurs (6%), Arabs (2%), Baluchis (2%), Turkmens and Turkic tribes (2%).



Most Iranians are Muslims. 85% of the population are Shia Muslims (state religion). Along with Iraq, Azerbaijan and Bahrain, Iran is one of the states where Shiites make up more than half of the population, however, the doctrine of the country - "Wilayat Faqih" - according to the majority of Shiites, has no connection with Shiism. Qom is the most important religious center of Shiism with many Shiite seminaries and universities, and the tomb of Imam Reza is located in Mashhad.

Sunni Muslims make up about 9% of the population. Christians make up about 4%.

And the other 2% belong to the Baha'is, Mandaeans, Hindus, Yezidis, Zoroastrians, Jews. The last two, and Christianity, are officially recognized and protected by the constitution. Seats in the Majlis are reserved for representatives of these religions, while even Sunnis do not have such a privilege. At the same time, the Bahá'ís (the largest religious minority) are being persecuted. The state system of Iran, based on religion, implies the truncation of certain rights and freedoms.

According to the results of the study of the international charitable Christian organization "Open Doors" for 2014, Iran ranks 9th in the list of countries where the rights of Christians are most often oppressed.



Advantages: second place in the world in terms of oil production among OPEC countries; Since 2000, oil prices have been growing on the world market (until 2015, when there was a sharp decline, to 35 Usd). Potential for related industrial sectors and for increased production of traditional export commodities such as carpets, pistachios and caviar.

Weaknesses: Sanctions imposed on Iran since 1979 limit contact with Iran and access to technology. High unemployment (12%) and inflation (in 2004 - 11.3%; in 2008 - 28.2%).

It should be noted that in 2009 inflation fell sharply and in October amounted to 16.7%.

Iran is the largest economy in the Middle East, second only to China, Japan, India, Turkey, Indonesia and South Korea in terms of GDP in Asia.

Iran is an industrial country with a developed oil industry. There are oil refineries and petrochemical enterprises. Extraction of oil, coal, gas, copper, iron, manganese and lead-zinc ores. Mechanical engineering and metalworking, as well as the food and textile industries are widely represented. Handicraft production of carpets and hardware is developed. Among the most important agricultural crops are wheat, barley, rice, legumes, cotton, sugar beets, sugar cane, tobacco, tea, nuts, pistachios. Animal husbandry is based on the breeding of sheep, goats, camels, and cattle. 7.5 million hectares of land are irrigated.

45% of budget revenues come from oil and gas exports, 31% from taxes and fees. In 2007, GDP was $852 billion. GDP growth amounted to 5%, in 2008 growth of 7% is predicted. Inflation is 15.8%.

Exports in 2017 91.99 billion dollars: oil (up to 60% of the value), chemical and petrochemical products, fruits and nuts, carpets, cement, metal ores.

The main buyers in 2017 are China 27.5%, India 15.1%, South Korea 11.4%, Turkey 11.1%, Italy 5.7%, Japan 5.3%.

Imports in 2017: industrial goods, machinery and equipment, food and other consumer goods, metallurgy products, weapons. The total cost is estimated at $132.6 billion.

The main suppliers in 2017 are the UAE - 29.8%, China - 12.7%, Turkey - 4.4%, South Korea - 4%, Germany - 4%.

Iran is a key member of the Economic Cooperation Organization, which includes the countries of Southwest Asia as well as the Central Asian republics of the former USSR. Iran is actively developing economic ties with the countries of the region and aims to form a free trade area similar to the EU. Free commercial and industrial zones are being developed in Chabahar and on the island of Kish.

According to the Al-Arabiya TV channel, the Islamic Republic is now in the deepest crisis since its formation 32 years ago. Tehran is unable to cope with the economic challenges facing the country. The reason for this was the failed economic policy of President Ahmadinejad and the economic sanctions imposed on Iran by the world community.



Iran has 16% of the world's natural gas reserves. The main deposits are located on the shelf of the Persian Gulf and in the north-east of the country.

By 2010, it is planned to increase gas production in Iran to 290 billion cubic meters per year. At the same time, full-scale gas exports should be launched. In 2005, Iran supplied annually 7 billion cubic meters of gas to Turkey. A gas pipeline is currently under construction from the South Pars field to a natural gas liquefaction plant on Kish Island in the Persian Gulf. The construction of the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline is being discussed. In 2005, the Iran-Armenia gas pipeline was opened.

To expand gas exports, an attempt may be made to restore the IGAT gas pipeline network, including IGAT-1 with a capacity of 9.6 billion cubic meters per year, built in 1970 to supply gas to Armenia and Azerbaijan, and IGAT-2 with a capacity of 27 billion cubic meters per year , the construction of which was not completed due to the Islamic Revolution in 1979. Both pipelines require reconstruction. Their reopening may allow Iran to supply gas through Ukraine to the EU. As an alternative, the expansion of the existing gas pipeline from Iran to Turkey to Greece is being considered.

The largest importer of Iranian gas is Turkey. In 2017, the volume of deliveries amounted to 8.9 billion cubic meters.

In 2005, Iran had 132 billion barrels of proven oil reserves (about 10% of the world's reserves). Iran produces 4.2 million barrels per day, of which about 2.7 million barrels are exported. Iran was the fourth oil exporter in the world (second in OPEC), as well as the largest supplier of oil to China.

According to the Iranian constitution, it is prohibited to sell shares of national oil companies to foreign companies or grant them concessions to extract oil. The development of oil fields is carried out by the state-owned Iranian National Oil Company (INOC). Since the late 1990s, however, foreign investors have entered the oil industry (French Total and Elf Aquitaine, Malaysian Petronas, Italian Eni, China National Oil Company, and Belarusian Belneftekhim), who, under compensation contracts, receive part of the oil produced, and upon expiration of the contract, the deposits are transferred under the control of INNK.

Despite its colossal hydrocarbon reserves, Iran is experiencing a shortage of electricity. Electricity imports exceed exports by 500 million kilowatt-hours. The national program developed in this regard implies reaching by 2010 the level of 53,000 megawatts of installed capacity. The program provides for the development of hydroelectric power and nuclear power. The first Iranian nuclear power plant was built in Bushehr with the assistance of Russia.

On July 14, 2015, Iran and a group of six countries (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - the United States, France, Great Britain, China, Russia + Germany) signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. The treaty removed from Iran previously imposed economic and financial sanctions by the UN Security Council, the United States and the European Union in exchange for Tehran's restriction of its nuclear activities. The document entered into force on January 16, 2016. On May 8, 2018, US President Donald Trump announced the US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPO) concluded between Iran, the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany in 2015, and which provides for Tehran to take a number of steps to limit its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of sanctions. After unilaterally withdrawing from the FDP, Trump announced a phased resumption of sanctions that were already in place, but they were lifted in 2015. The US President demanded that companies from third countries doing business with Iran complete all their business with Iranian partners within 60 days. This deadline expired on August 6, 2018.

The main consumers of Iranian oil in 2017 were Europe (35.5%) and the Asia-Pacific region (64.5%).



Iran's tourism industry was severely affected by the Iran-Iraq war, but is currently being revived. In 2003, 300,000 tourist visas were issued, most to pilgrims from neighboring Islamic states heading to Mashhad and Qom. In 2004, 1.7 million foreign tourists visited Iran. If for Muslims, probably, the main interest is sacred places, then Europeans are mainly interested in archaeological excavations and ancient monuments. In 2004, tourism industry revenues exceeded $2 billion. The development of tourism is strongly hindered by the imperfection of infrastructure.

In terms of budget revenues from tourism, Iran is ranked 68th. 1.8% of the population are employed in the tourism business. According to forecasts, this sector of the economy is one of the most promising in the country; it is expected to increase by 10% in the coming years.

In addition, Iran considers such a promising area of ​​the tourism industry as medical tourism. WHO calculations show that due to the high quality of medical services and low treatment costs, combined with a good medical infrastructure, Iran becomes one of the best options for medical tourism. Today, many cities in Iran present their services to medical tourists. One such city is Shiraz in the southern province of Fars. Several thousand patients from different countries come here every year for treatment. The organization and control of all services related to medical tourism in the city is under the responsibility of the Shiraz University of Medical Sciences.



In Iran, right-hand traffic operates (the steering wheel is on the left).

Iran has a developed transport infrastructure. The total length of motor roads is 178,000 km, of which 2/3 are paved. There are 30 private cars per 1,000 people. The length of railways is 8400 km (2005). Rail links are available with Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Turkey and Turkmenistan. The construction of the Khorramshahr-Basra branch (Iraq) is underway. Track width - 1435 mm. The largest port is Bandar Abbas on the shores of the Persian Gulf, on the shores of the Caspian Sea - Anzali. There are 321 airports in Iran, 129 have paved runways. Subways are under construction in six major cities. The length of pipelines is 34 thousand km; 17,000 of them are gas pipelines, 16,000 are oil pipelines, and 1,000 are for the distillation of liquefied gas and gas condensate.


Mass media

Newspapers: "Keyhan", "Ettelaat".

Television and radio broadcasting: "Press TV", "Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran"

News agencies: IRNA (IRNA), ISNA (ISNA), FARS


Armed forces

The Iranian Armed Forces consist of two main components: the Army and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Both components are directly subordinated to the Supreme Leader. In addition, there are law enforcement forces (internal and border troops, police). In total, about one and a half million people serve in the armed forces. The reserve is 350 thousand. In Iran, there is also a paramilitary organization within the framework of the IRGC - Basij, where 90,000 volunteers and 11 million reservists, including women, are on permanent duty. Thus, the total number of armed forces, taking into account the reserve in Iran, exceeds 12 million people.

Iran's combat capability is a closely guarded secret. In recent years, the production of ballistic missiles has been launched, including Shahab-3, the Dastan tank, and the modernized T-72 tank. And if Iran used to spend 3.3% of GDP on the military budget, which was much less compared to other countries in the Middle East, especially Israel, then recently the cost of weapons in Iran has grown dramatically, in addition, Iran has a satellite in space.

Military-technical cooperation with China
Tehran's cooperation with Beijing in the military sphere is perhaps even closer than with Moscow: in 1987-2002, the PRC supplied arms and military equipment to Iran worth $4.4 billion. The PRC supplied fighter jets, anti-ship missiles, military transport aircraft, artillery pieces, medium tanks, and a number of technologies.


Space achievements

By launching the Omid (Hope) satellite on February 2, 2009 using its own Safir-2 launch vehicle from the Semnan Cosmodrome, Iran became the tenth space power on the second attempt.

In early February 2010, the Iranian media reported that Iran had sent a capsule with living organisms into space on a launch vehicle of its own production, Kavoshgar-3.

Also, on February 3, 2012, Iran successfully launched a new satellite, Navid (Novelty), into orbit. One of his tasks is to photograph the surface of the Earth.

Iran made its first launch of a spacecraft with a monkey on board in January 2013. The Pioneer apparatus with a monkey on board was launched into an orbit at a height of 120 km. According to Iranian television, the device returned to Earth without damage. The "capsule of life" was delivered into space by an Iranian-made carrier rocket "Kavoshgar-5".

Earlier, the head of the Iranian space department, Hamid Fazeli, explained that the launch of a monkey into space is a preparatory part of the project, which provides for the flight of a person into space. Iran plans to carry out a manned space flight in the next 5-8 years. In February 2010, the Kavoshgar-3 launch vehicle delivered mice, turtles and worms into space for scientific research. The next launch took place in 2011.

Iran has its own space agency.