(The) Iran (Persian ايران Īrān, Click to Listen please! [Iːrɑn], fully Islamic Republic of Iran), formerly and historicizing referred to as Persia, is a country in the Middle East. With around 75 million inhabitants (2011) and an area of 1,648,195 square kilometers, it ranks among the 20 most populous and largest countries in the world. It is a theocracy, which describes itself as an Islamic republic since the Islamic Revolution 1979th Iran consists largely of high mountains and dry, desert-like basin. Its location between the Caspian Sea and the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf makes it an area of great geostrategic importance with long, to antiquity ancient heritage. After v 3200 to 2800. Chr. The kingdom of Elam was formed, the Iranian Medes unified the area around 625 for the first time on a state, which took over the cultural and political leadership in the region. Founded by Cyrus dynasty of Achaemenids ruled from today's southern Iran from the hitherto largest empire in history. It was destroyed in 330 by the troops of Alexander the Great. This was followed by the kingdom of the Sassanids that counted between the 3rd and 7th centuries next to the Byzantine Empire to the most powerful states in the world. After the spread of the Islamic expansion in Persia, was in the course of Zoroastrianism replaced by Islam, Persian scholars were the bearers of the Golden Age until the Mongol invasion in the 13th century threw the country far in its development. The Safavids agreed the country, making 1501 the Twelver commitment to the state religion. Under founded in 1794 Qajar dynasty, the influence of Persia, Russia and the UK shrank forced the Persians to territorial and economic concessions. 1906 it came to the Constitutional Revolution, received its first parliament and a constitution in which result Persia, was provided in the separation of powers. As a form of government, it was the constitutional monarchy. The two monarchs of the Pahlavi dynasty pursued a policy of modernization and secularization, in parallel, the country was occupied during World War I by Russian, British and Turkish troops and the Second World War by British and Soviet troops. After that, there were repeated foreign influence as the establishment of an autonomous republic of Azerbaijan with Soviet assistance or a CIA-organized coup in 1953. The suppression of liberal, communist and Islamist opposition led to diverse tensions in the revolution of 1979 and the culminated overthrow of the Shah. Since then, Iran is a theocratic republic, which is led by Shiite clerics, headed by the leader (Rahbar) power focuses on. it is controlled only by the Guardian Council. Regular elections are held, but criticized as undemocratic because of comprehensive containment by those in power, manipulation allegations and the insignificant position of Parliament and the President. The Iranian government violated human rights, its control on religious and ideological conformity pervades the lives of all citizens and infringe on the liberty of the individual. There is no Iranian press or freedom of expression. Since the Islamic Revolution, the good relations with Western countries have turned into an open hostility that is firmly anchored in the state ideology, especially with regard to the former fellow US and Israel. Iran's foreign policy in relative isolation, at the same time a regional power in the Middle East. Capital, largest city and economic center of Iran is Tehran. In addition to ethnic Persians live in Iran many other peoples who have their own linguistic and cultural identity; Persian is the official language. The people of Iran have a long tradition in crafts, architecture, calligraphy and poetry; There are numerous sites of the UNESCO world heritage in the country. Due to its natural resources, especially the largest natural gas and the fourth largest oil reserves in the world, Iran has great influence on the world supply of fossil fuels. Apart from this, the Iranian economy, and is. a. due to the high proportion of inefficient state enterprises and the sanctions in the wake of the conflict over Iran's nuclear program, in a deep crisis.
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