Countries » Iran
Iran is a large country in the Middle East, between the Gulf of Oman, the Persian Gulf, and the Caspian Sea.
Known formally as Persia until 1935, Iran became an Islamic republic in 1979 after the ruling Shah was forced into exile. Conservative clerical forces subsequently crushed Westernisation and also any liberal/left-wing influences. Iranian student protesters seized the US Embassy in Tehran on 4 November 1979 and held hostages for 444 days -until 20 January 1981. From 1980 to 1988, Iran fought a bloody, indecisive war with neighboring Iraq over disputed territory. Key current issues affecting the country include the pace of accepting outside modernising influences and reconciliation between clerical control of the regime and popular government participation and widespread demands for reform. Inflation and unemployment (particularly among youth) are major key economic challenges.
Iran’s Mausoleum of Maussollos was identified as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Iran is one of the world’s oldest continuous major civilizations, with historical and urban settlements dating back to 4,000 BC.