From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search Coordinates: 32°N 53°E "Persia" redirects here. For other uses, see Persia (disambiguation). For a topic outline on this subject, see List of basic Iran topics. Islamic Republic of Iran ‫جمهوری اسلمی ايران‬ Jomhuri-ye Islāmi-ye Irān



Motto: Esteqlāl, āzādi, jomhuri-ye eslāmi1 (Persian) "Independence, freedom, Islamic Republic" Anthem: Sorud-e Melli-ye Irān²

Capital (and largest city) Official languages

Tehran 35°41′N 51°25′E Persian

constitutional recognition of the regional languages such as Azeri, Recognised regional languages Kurdish, and Mazandarani, and Gilaki[1] Demonym Government Iranian Islamic Republic

- Supreme Leader - President - First Vice President

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Parviz Davoodi

Chairman of the Assembly - of Experts and Expediency Discernment Council Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani - Speaker of the Majlis Ali Larijani Unification[2] - Median kingdom Safavid dynasty (reestablishment) 625 BC[2] 1501[3]

- Islamic Republic declared 1 April 1979 Area - Total - Water (%) 1,648,195 km2 (18th) 636,372 sq mi 0.7 Population - 2007 (1385 AP) census - Density GDP (PPP) - Total - Per capita GDP (nominal) - Total - Per capita Gini (2006) HDI (2008) 70,472,846³ (17th) 42/km2 (163th) 109/sq mi 2008 estimate $816.839 billion[4] (18th) $11,209[4] (71st) 2008 estimate $382.328 billion[4] (29th) $5,246[4] (85th) 44.5 (medium) ▲ 0.777 (medium) (84th)

Currency Time zone - Summer (DST) Drives on the Internet TLD Calling code
1 2

Iranian rial (‫( )ريال‬IRR) IRST (UTC+3:30) Iran Daylight Time (IRDT) (UTC+4:30) right .ir 98 Statistical Center of Iran. "‫( "جمعيت و متوسط رشد سالنه‬in Persian). Retrieved on 2009-02-13. CIA Factbook Iran portal



Iran (Persian: ‫/ ,ايران‬irɒn/↔ [ʔiˈɾɒn] (help·info)), officially the Islamic Republic of Iran[5] and formerly known internationally as Persia until 1935, is a country in Central Eurasia,[6] located on the northeastern shore of the Persian Gulf and the southern shore of the Caspian Sea. Since 1949, both the names "Persia" and "Iran" are used, however, Iran is used for an official and political context.[7][8] The name Iran is a cognate of Aryan, and means "Land of the Aryans".[9][10][11] The 18th largest country in the world in terms of area at 1,648,195 km², Iran has a population of over seventy million. It is a country of special geostrategic significance due to its central location in Eurasia. Iran is bordered on the north by Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. As Iran is a littoral state of the Caspian Sea, which is an inland sea and condominium, Kazakhstan and Russia are also Iran's direct neighbors to the north. Iran is bordered on the east by Afghanistan and Pakistan, on the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, and on the west by Turkey and Iraq. Tehran is the capital, the country's largest city and the political, cultural, commercial, and industrial center of the nation. Iran is a regional power,[12][13] and occupies an important position in international energy security and world economy as a result of its large reserves of petroleum and natural gas. Iran is home to one of the world's oldest continuous major civilizations, with historical and urban settlements dating back to 7000 BC.[14][15][16] The first Iranian dynasty formed during the Elamite kingdom in 2800 BC. The Iranian Medes unified Iran into an empire in 625 BC.[2] They were succeeded by three Iranian Empires, the Achaemenids, Parthians

and Sassanids, which governed Iran for more than 1000 years. Iranian post-Islamic dynasties and empires expanded the Persian language and culture throughout the Iranian plateau. Early Iranian dynasties which re-assereted Iranian independence included the Buyids, Samanids, Tahirids and Saffarids. The blossoming of Persian literature, philosophy, medicine, astronomy, mathematics and art became major elements of Muslim civilization and started with the Saffarids and Samanids. Iran was once again reunified as an independent state in 1501 by the Safavid dynasty[17]—who promoted Twelver Shi'a Islam[18] as the official religion of their empire, marking one of the most important turning points in the history of Islam.[19] "Persia's Constitutional Revolution" established the nation's first parliament in 1906, within a constitutional monarchy. Iran officially became an Islamic republic on 1 April 1979, after the Iranian 1979 Revolution.

Iran is a founding member of the UN, NAM, OIC and OPEC. The political system of Iran, based on the 1979 Constitution, comprises several intricately connected governing bodies. The highest state authority is the Supreme Leader. Shia Islam is the official religion and Persian is the official language.[22] Contents [hide]
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1 Etymology 2 Geography and climate o 2.1 Provinces and cities 3 History o 3.1 Early history (3200 BC–625 BC) o 3.2 Pre-Islamic statehood (625 BC–651 AD) o 3.3 Middle Ages (652–1501) o 3.4 Early Modern Era (1501–1921) o 3.5 Recent history (1921–) 4 Government and politics 5 Foreign relations and military 6 Economy o 6.1 Energy 7 Demography 8 Culture o 8.1 Language and literature o 8.2 Art and Architecture 9 Science and technology 10 Sports 11 References 12 Further reading 13 External links

Etymology Main article: Etymology of Iran See also: Iran naming convention The term Iran (‫ )ايران‬in modern Persian derives from the Proto-Iranian term Aryānā, first attested in Zoroastrianism's Avesta tradition.[23] Ariya- and Airiia- are also attested as an ethnic designator in Achaemenid inscriptions. The term Ērān, from Middle Persian Ērān (written as ʼyrʼn) is found on the inscription that accompanies the investiture relief of Ardashir I at Naqsh-e Rustam.[24] In this inscription, the king's appellation in Middle Persian contains the term ērān (Pahlavi ʼryʼn), while in the Parthian language inscription that accompanies it, the term aryān describes Iran. In Ardashir's time, ērān retained this meaning, denoting the people rather than the state. Notwithstanding this inscriptional use of ērān to refer to the Iranian peoples, the use of ērān to refer to the geographical empire is also attested in the early Sassanid period. An inscription relating to Shapur I, Ardashir's son and immediate successor, includes regions which were not inhabited primarily by Iranians in Ērān regions, such as Armenia and the Caucasus."[25] In Kartir's inscriptions the high priest includes the same regions in his list of provinces of the antonymic Anērān.[25] Both ērān and aryān come from the ProtoIranian term Aryānām, (Land) of the (Iranian) Aryas. The word and concept of Airyanem Vaejah is present in the name of the country Iran (Lit. Land of the Aryans) inasmuch as Iran (Ērān) is the modern Persian form of the word Aryānā. The country has always been known to its own people as Iran, however to the outside world, the official name of Iran from the 6th century BC until 1935 was Persia or similar foreign language translations (La Perse, Das Persien, Perzie, etc.).[7] In that year, Reza Shah asked the international community to call the country by the name "Iran". A few years later, some Persian scholars protested to the government that changing the name had separated the country from its past, so in 1949[7][8] Mohammad Reza Shah announced that both terms could officially be used interchangeably. Now both terms are common, but "Iran" is used mostly in the modern political context and "Persia" in a cultural and historical context. Since the Iranian Revolution of 1979, the official name of the country has been the "Islamic Republic of Iran." Geography and climate Main article: Geography of Iran See also: Agriculture in Iran and Wildlife of Iran

Satellite image of Iran

Mount Damavand, Iran's highest point, is located in Mazanderan. Iran is the eighteenth largest country in the world.[26] Its area roughly equals that of the United Kingdom, France, Spain, and Germany combined, or slightly less than the state of Alaska.[27][28] Its borders are with Azerbaijan (432 km/268 mi) and Armenia (35 km/22 mi) to the north-west; the Caspian Sea to the north; Turkmenistan (992 km/616 mi) to the north-east; Pakistan (909 km/565 mi) and Afghanistan (936 km/582 mi) to the east; Turkey (499 km/310 mi) and Iraq (1,458 km/906 mi) to the west; and finally the waters of the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman to the south. Iran's area is 1,648,000 km² (approximately 636,300 sq mi).[29]

Eurasian Lynx Iran consists of the Iranian Plateau with the exception of the coasts of the Caspian Sea and Khuzestan. It is one of the world's most mountainous countries, its landscape dominated by rugged mountain ranges that separate various basins or plateaux from one another. The populous western part is the most mountainous, with ranges such as the

Caucasus, Zagros and Alborz Mountains; the latter contains Iran's highest point, Mount Damavand at 5,610 m (18,405 ft), which is not only the country's highest peak but also the highest mountain on the Eurasian landmass west of the Hindu Kush.[30] The Northern part of Iran is covered by dense rain forests called Shomal or the Jungles of Iran. The eastern part consists mostly of desert basins such as the Dasht-e Kavir, Iran's largest desert, in the north-central portion of the country, and the Dasht-e Lut, in the east, as well as some salt lakes. This is because the mountain ranges are too high for rain clouds to reach these regions. The only large plains are found along the coast of the Caspian Sea and at the northern end of the Persian Gulf, where Iran borders the mouth of the Shatt alArab (or the Arvand Rūd) river. Smaller, discontinuous plains are found along the remaining coast of the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz and the Sea of Oman. Iran's climate ranges from arid or semiarid, to subtropical along the Caspian coast and the northern forests. On the northern edge of the country (the Caspian coastal plain) temperatures nearly fall below freezing and it remains humid for the rest of the year. Summer temperatures rarely exceed 29 °C (85 °F).[31][32] Annual precipitation is 680 mm (27 in) in the eastern part of the plain and more than 1,700 mm (67 in) in the western part. To the west, settlements in the Zagros basin experience lower temperatures, severe winters with below zero average daily temperatures and heavy snowfall. The eastern and central basins are arid, with less than 200 mm (eight in) of rain, and have occasional deserts.[32] Average summer temperatures exceed 38 °C (100 °F). The coastal plains of the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman in southern Iran have mild winters, and very humid and hot summers. The annual precipitation ranges from 135 to 355 mm (five to fourteen inches).[32] Iran's wildlife is composed of several animal species including bears, gazelles, wild pigs, wolves, jackals, panthers, Eurasian lynx, and foxes. Other domestic animals include, sheep, goats, cattle, horses, water buffalo, donkeys, and camels. The pheasant, partridge, stork, eagles and falcon are also native to Iran. Provinces and cities Main articles: Provinces of Iran and Counties of Iran See also: List of Iran cities by population

After the revolution, Shahyad Tower was renamed Freedom Tower

Ardabil Bushehr Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Esfahan Fars Gilan Golestan Hamadan Hormozgan Ilam Kerman Kermanshah Khuzestan Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Kordestan Lorestan Markazi Mazandaran Qazvin Qom Razavi Khorasan

Semnan Sistan and Baluchestan Tehran Yazd Zanjan North Khorasan South Khorasan West Azarbaijan East Azarbaijan

Iran is divided into thirty provinces (ostān), each governed by an appointed governor ( ‫ ,استاندار‬ostāndār). The provinces are divided into counties (shahrestān), and subdivided into districts (bakhsh) and sub-districts (dehestān). Iran has one of the highest urban growth rates in the world. From 1950 to 2002, the urban proportion of the population increased from 27% to 60%.[33] The United Nations predicts that by 2030 80% of the population will be urban.[34] Most internal migrants have settled near the cities of Tehran, Isfahan, Ahvaz, and Qom. The listed populations are from the 2006/07 (1385 AP) census.[35] Tehran, with population of 7,705,036, is the largest city in Iran and is the Capital city. Tehran is home to around 11% of Iran's population. Tehran, like many big cities, suffers from severe air pollution. It is the hub of the country's communication and transport network. Mashhad, with a population of 2.8 million, is the second largest Iranian city and the centre of the province of Razavi Khorasan. Mashahd is one of the holiest Shi'a cities in the world as it is the site of the Imam Reza shrine. It is the centre of tourism in Iran and between 15 and 20 million pilgrims go to the Imam Reza's shrine every year.[36][37] Another major Iranian city is Isfahan (population 1,986,542), which is the capital of Isfahan Province. The Naghsh-e Jahan Square in Isfahan has been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The city contains a wide variety of Islamic architectural sites ranging from the eleventh to the 19th century. The growth of suburb area around the city has turned Isfahan to the second most populous metropolitan area (3,430,353).[38] The other major Iranian cities are Karaj (population 1,732,275), Tabriz (population 1,597,312) and Shiraz (population 1,227,331). Karaj is located in Tehran province and is situated 20 km west of Tehran, at the foot of Alborz mountains; however, the city is increasingly becoming an extension of metropolitan Tehran. History

Main articles: History of Iran and Persian Empire Early history (3200 BC–625 BC) Main articles: Tappeh Sialk, Jiroft civilization, Elamite kingdom, and Mannaeans

19th century reconstruction of a map of the world by Eratosthenes, c.200 BC. The name Ariana (Aryânâ) was used to describe the region where the Iranian Plateau is found. Dozens of pre-historic sites across the Iranian plateau point to the existence of ancient cultures and urban settlements in the fourth millennium BC,[39][40][41] centuries before the earliest civilizations arose in nearby Mesopotamia.[42] Proto-Iranians first emerged following the separation of Indo-Iranians, and are traced to the Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex.[43] Aryan, (Proto-Iranian) tribes arrived in the Iranian plateau in the third and second millennium BC, probably in more than one wave of emigration, and settled as nomads. Further separation of Proto-Iranians into "Eastern" and "Western" groups occurred due to migration. By the first millennium BC, Medes, Persians, Bactrians and Parthians populated the western part, while Cimmerians, Sarmatians and Alans populated the steppes north of the Black Sea. Other tribes began to settle on the eastern edge, as far as on the mountainous frontier of north-western Indian subcontinent and into the area which is now Balochistan. Others, such as the Scythian tribes spread as far west as the Balkans and as far east as Xinjiang. Avestan is an eastern Old Iranian language that was used to compose the sacred hymns and canon of the Zoroastrian Gathas in c. 1000 BC. Pre-Islamic statehood (625 BC–651 AD)

The Cyrus Cylinder is considered the first recorded declaration of human rights in history. Main articles: Median Empire, Achaemenid Empire, Seleucid Empire, Parthian Empire, and Sassanid Empire See also: Greco-Persian Wars, Roman-Persian Wars, and Roman relations with the Parthians and Sassanids

The Medes are credited with the unification[2] of Iran as a nation and empire (625[2]–559 BC), the largest of its day, until Cyrus the Great established a unified empire of the Medes and Persians leading to the Achaemenid Empire (559–330 BC), and further unification between peoples and cultures. After Cyrus' death, his son Cambyses continued his father's work of conquest, making significant gains in Egypt. Following a power struggle after Cambyses' death, Darius I was declared king (ruled 522–486 BC). Under Cyrus the Great and Darius the Great, the Persian Empire eventually became the largest and most powerful empire in human history up until that point.[44] The borders of the Persian empire stretched from the Indus and Oxus Rivers in the east to the Mediterranean Sea in the west, extending through Anatolia (modern day Turkey) and Egypt.

The Achaemenid Empire at its greatest extent, at about 500 BC In 499 BC Athens lent support to a revolt in Miletus which resulted in the sacking of Sardis. This led to an Achaemenid campaign against Greece known as the Greco-Persian Wars which lasted the first half of the 5th century BC. During the Greco-Persian wars Persia made some major advantages and razed Athens in 480 BC, But after a string of Greek victories the Persians were forced to withdraw. Fighting ended with the peace of Callias in 449 BC.

Persepolis, ceremonial capital of the Persian Empire during the Achaemenid dynasty The rules and ethics emanating from Zoroaster's teachings were strictly followed by the Achaemenids who introduced and adopted policies based on human rights, equality and banning of slavery. Zoroastrianism spread unimposed during the time of the Achaemenids and through contacts with the exiled Jewish people in Babylon freed by Cyrus, Zoroastrian concepts further propagated and influenced into other Abrahamic religions. The Golden Age of Athens marked by Aristotle, Plato and Socrates also came about during the Achaemenid period while their contacts with Persia and the Near East abounded. The peace, tranquility, security and prosperity that were afforded to the people of the Near East and Southeastern Europe proved to be a rare historical occurrence, an

unparalleled period where commerce prospered, and the standard of living for all people of the region improved.[45] In 334 BC, Alexander the Great invaded the Achaemenid Empire, defeating the last Achaemenid Emperor Darius III at the Battle of Issus in 333 BC. He left the annexed territory in 328–327. In each of the former Achaemenid territories he installed his own officers as caretakers, which led to friction and ultimately to the partitioning of the former empire after Alexander's death.

A bust from the National Museum of Iran of Queen Musa The Parthian Empire (238 BC–226 AD), led by the Arsacid Dynasty, was the third Iranian kingdom to dominate the Iranian plateau, after defeating the Greek Seleucid Empire, beginning in the late 3rd century BC, and intermittently controlled Mesopotamia between ca. 150 BC and 224 AD. These were the third native dynasty of ancient Iran and lasted five centuries. After the conquests of Media, Assyria, Babylonia and Elam, the Parthians had to organize their empire. The former elites of these countries were Greek, and the new rulers had to adapt to their customs if they wanted their rule to last. As a result, the cities retained their ancient rights and civil administrations remained more or less undisturbed. Parthia was the arch-enemy of the Roman Empire in the east, limiting Rome's expansion beyond Cappadocia (central Anatolia). By using a heavily armed and armoured cataphract cavalry, and lightly armed but highly mobile mounted archers, the Parthians "held their own against Rome for almost 300 years".[46] Rome's acclaimed general Mark Antony led a disastrous campaign against the Parthians in 36 BC, in which he lost 32,000 men. By the time of Roman emperor Augustus, Rome and Parthia were settling some of their differences through diplomacy. By this time, Parthia had acquired an assortment of golden eagles, the cherished standards of Rome's legions, captured from Mark Antony, and Crassus, who suffered a defeat at Carrhae in 53 BC.[47]

Rock-face relief at Naqsh-e Rustam of Iranian emperor Shapur I (on horseback) capturing Roman emperor Valerian (kneeing) and Philip the Arab (standing) The end of the Parthian Empire came in 224 AD, when the empire was loosely organized and the last king was defeated by Ardashir I, one of the empire's vassals. Ardashir I then went on to create the Sassanid Empire. Soon he started reforming the country both economically and militarily. The Sassanids established an empire roughly within the frontiers achieved by the Achaemenids, referring to it as Erânshahr or Iranshahr, , "Dominion of the Aryans", (i.e. of Iranians), with their capital at Ctesiphon.[48] Unlike the diadochic Seleucids and the succeeding Arsacids, who used a vassalary system, the Sassanids—like the Achaemenids—had a system of governors (MP: shahrab) personally appointed by the Emperor and directed by the central government. The Romans suffered repeated losses particularly by Ardashir I, Shapur I, and Shapur II.[49] During their reign, Sassanid battles with the Roman Empire caused such pessimism in Rome that the historian Cassius Dio wrote: “ Here was a source of great fear to us. So formidable does the Sassanid king seem to our eastern legions, that some are liable to go over to him, and others are unwilling to fight at all.[50]

In 632 raiders from the Arab peninsula began attacking the Sassanid Empire. Iran was defeated in the Battle of al-Qâdisiyah, paving way for the Islamic conquest of Persia. During Parthian, and later Sassanid era, trade on the Silk Road was a significant factor in the development of the great civilizations of China, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Persia, Indian subcontinent, and Rome, and helped to lay the foundations for the modern world. Parthian remains display classically Greek influences in some instances and retain their oriental mode in others, a clear expression of the cultural diversity that characterized Parthian art and life.[51] The Parthians were innovators of many architecture designs such as that of Ctesiphon, which later influenced European Romanesque architecture.[52][53] Under the Sassanids, Iran expanded relations with China. Arts, music, and architecture greatly flourished, and centers such as the School of Nisibis and Academy of Gundishapur became world renowned centers of science and scholarship. Middle Ages (652–1501)

Main articles: Islamization in Iran, Abbasid Caliphate, Tahirid Empire, Saffarid Empire, Samanid Empire, Ziyarid dynasty, Buyid Empire, Ghaznavid Empire, Seljuk Empire, and Khwarezmian Empire

Map of Iranian Dynasties c. 1000 Iranians continued those governmental, social, and scientific systems which had been established by the Sassanids, but significantly expanded in both scale and scope.[54] This lead to a blossoming of Persian literature, philosophy, medicine and art which became major elements of the newly forming Muslim civilization. The Islamic Golden Age owed much to the vital contributions of Iranians,[55] and reached its peak in the 10th - 11th centuries, a period in which Persia was the main theatre of scientific activities.[54] In fact this influential Persian presence that relied heavily upon achievements of Sassanids whose identity and continuity had to be assumed by the educated, has made the Muslim world itself long since come to accept Islamic civilization as a Perso-Islamic civilization and had the latter as the continuous uprising culture from eleventh century on.[56] Even in developing the scientific Arabic prose itself which differs in style from that of Quran, Persian scholars like Ibn al-Muqaffa had a major role. And the whole class of clerks and civil administrators which was so responsible for the cultivation of the sciences in the early Islamic centuries consisted mostly of Persians.[57] The contributions of Iranians in Arabic language is however not limited to scientific prose needed by themselves, but also in Arabic poetry. These contributions by Iranians are characterised as "the lively and graceful fancy, elegance of diction, depth and tenderness of feeling and a rich store of ideas"[58] Abu Moslem, an Iranian general, expelled the Umayyads from Damascus and helped the Abbasid caliphs to conquer Baghdad. The Abbasid caliphs frequently chose their "wazirs" (viziers) among Iranians, and Iranian governors acquired a certain amount of local autonomy. Thus in 822, the governor of Khorasan, Tahir, proclaimed his independence and founded a new Persian dynasty of Tahirids. And by the Samanid era, Iran's efforts to regain its independence had been well solidified.[59]

Illustration from Jami "Rose Garden of the Pious", dated 1553. The image blends Persian poetry and Persian miniature into one, as is the norm for many works of the Timurid era. Attempts of Arabization thus never succeeded in Iran, and movements such as the Shuubiyah became catalysts for Iranians to regain their independence in their relations with the Arab invaders. The cultural revival of the post-Abbasid period led to a resurfacing of Iranian national identity. The resulting cultural movement reached its peak during the 9th and 10th centuries. The most notable effect of the movement was the continuation of the Persian language, the language of the Persians and the official language of Iran to the present day. Ferdowsi, Iran's greatest epic poet, is regarded today as the most important figure in maintaining the Persian language. After an interval of silence Iran re-emerged as a separate, different and distinctive element within Islam. Iranian philosophy after the Islamic conquest, is characterized by different interactions with the Old Iranian philosophy, the Greek philosophy and with the development of Islamic philosophy. The Illumination School and the Transcendent Philosophy are regarded as two of the main philosophical traditions of that era in Persia. The movement continued well into the 11th century, when Mahmud-a Ghaznavi founded a vast empire, with its capital at Isfahan and Ghazna. Their successors, the Seljuks, asserted their domination from the Mediterranean Sea to Central Asia. As with their predecessors, the divan of the empire was in the hands of Iranian viziers, who founded the Nizamiyya. During this period, hundreds of scholars and scientists vastly contributed to technology, science and medicine, later influencing the rise of European science during the Renaissance[60] (for instance under the influence of Persian science the academy of Trebizond became an important scientific centre.[61]) In 1218, the eastern Khwarazmid provinces of Transoxiana and Khorasan suffered a devastating invasion by Genghis Khan. During this period more than half of Iran's population was killed,[62] turning the streets of Persian cities such as Neishabur into "rivers of blood", as the severed heads of men, women, and children were "neatly stacked into carefully constructed pyramids around which the carcasses of the city's dogs and cats were placed".[63] Between 1220 and 1260, the total population of Iran had dropped from 2,500,000 to 250,000 as a result of mass extermination and famine.[64] In a letter to King

Louis IX of France, Holaku, one of the Genghis Khan's grandsons, alone took responsibility for 200,000 deaths in his raids of Iran and the Caliphate.[65] He was followed by yet another conqueror, Tamerlane, who established his capital in Samarkand. [66] The waves of devastation prevented many cities such as Neishabur from reaching their pre-invasion population levels until the 20th century, eight centuries later.[67] But both Hulagu, Tamerlane, and their successors soon came to adopt the ways and customs of that which they had conquered, choosing to surround themselves with a culture that was distinctively Persian.[68] Early Modern Era (1501–1921) Main articles: Safavid Empire, Afsharid Empire, Zand Empire, and Qajar Dynasty See also: Russo-Persian Wars, Anglo-Persian War, Turko-Persian War, and Iranian Constitutional Revolution

Sattar Khan was a key figure in the Iranian Constitutional Revolution

Shah Ismail I, the founder of the Safavid Dynasty (1501 to 1736) Iran's first encompassing Shi'a Islamic state was established under the Safavid Dynasty (1501–1722) by Shah Ismail I. The Safavid Dynasty soon became a major political power and promoted the flow of bilateral state contacts. The Safavid peak was during the rule of Shah Abbas The Great.[19] The Safavid Dynasty frequently warred with the Ottoman Empire, Uzbek tribes and the Portuguese Empire. The Safavids moved their capital from Tabriz to Qazvin and then to Isfahan, where their patronage for the arts propelled Iran into one of its most aesthetically productive eras. Under their rule, the state became highly centralized, the first attempts to modernize the military were made, and even a distinct style of architecture developed. In 1722 Afghan rebels defeated Shah Sultan

Hossein and ended the Safavid Dynasty, but in 1735, Nader Shah successfully drove out the Afghan rebels from Isfahan and established the Afsharid Dynasty. He then staged an incursion into India in 1738, securing the Peacock throne, Koh-i-Noor, and Darya-ye Noor among other royal treasures. His rule did not last long, however, as he was assassinated in 1747. The Mashhad based Afshar Dynasty was succeeded by the Zand dynasty in 1750, founded by Karim Khan, who established his capital at Shiraz. His rule brought a period of relative peace and renewed prosperity. The Zand dynasty lasted three generations, until Aga Muhammad Khan executed Lotf Ali Khan, and founded his new capital in Tehran, marking the dawn of the Qajar Dynasty in 1794. The Qajar chancellor Amir Kabir established Iran's first modern college system, among other modernizing reforms. Iran suffered several wars with Imperial Russia during the Qajar era, resulting in Iran losing almost half of its territories to Imperial Russia and the British Empire, via the treaties of Gulistan, Turkmenchay and Akhal. In spite of The Great Game Iran managed to maintain her sovereignty and was never colonized, unlike neighbouring states in the region. Repeated foreign intervention and a corrupt and weakened Qajar rule led to various protests, which by the end of the Qajar period resulted in Persia's constitutional revolution establishing the nation's first parliament in 1906, within a constitutional monarchy. Recent history (1921–) Main articles: Pahlavi Dynasty, Iranian Revolution, History of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and Iran–Iraq War See also: Operation Ajax

Former Iranian prime minister, Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh In 1925, Reza Khan overthrew the weakening Qajar Dynasty and became Shah. Reza Shah initiated industrialization, railroad construction, and the establishment of a national education system. Reza Shah sought to balance Russian and British influence, but when World War II started, his nascent ties to Germany alarmed Britain and Russia. In 1941, Britain and the USSR invaded Iran to use Iranian railroad capacity during World War II. The Shah was forced to abdicate in favour of his son, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and Queen Farah about to depart after a visit to the United States In 1951 Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh was elected prime minister. As prime minister, Mossadegh became enormously popular in Iran after he nationalized Iran's oil reserves. In response, Britain embargoed Iranian oil and, amidst Cold War fears, invited the United States to join in a plot to depose Mossadegh, and in 1953 President Dwight D. Eisenhower authorized Operation Ajax. The operation was successful, and Mossadegh was arrested on 19 August 1953. After Operation Ajax, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi's rule became increasingly autocratic. With American support, the Shah was able to rapidly modernize Iranian infrastructure, but he simultaneously crushed all forms of political opposition with his intelligence agency, SAVAK. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini became an active critic of the Shah's White Revolution and publicly denounced the government. Khomeini was arrested and imprisoned for 18 months. After his release in 1964 Khomeini publicly criticized the United States government. The Shah was persuaded to send him into exile by General Hassan Pakravan. Khomeini was sent first to Turkey, then to Iraq and finally to France. While in exile, he continued to denounce the Shah. The Iranian Revolution, also known as the Islamic Revolution,[69][70][71] began in January 1978 with the first major demonstrations against the Shah.[72] After strikes and demonstrations paralysed the country and its economy, the Shah fled the country in January 1979 and Ayatollah Khomeini returned from exile to Tehran. The Pahlavi Dynasty collapsed ten days later, on 11 February, when Iran's military declared itself "neutral" after guerrillas and rebel troops overwhelmed troops loyal to the Shah in armed street fighting. Iran officially became an Islamic Republic on 1 April 1979 when Iranians overwhelmingly approved a national referendum to make it so.[20][21] In December 1979, the country approved a theocratic constitution, whereby Khomeini became Supreme Leader of the country. The speed and success of the revolution surprised many throughout the world,[73] as it had not been precipitated by a military defeat, a financial crisis, or a peasant rebellion.[74] Although both nationalists and Marxists joined with Islamic traditionalists to overthrow the Shah, tens of thousands were killed and executed by the Islamic regime afterward, the revolution ultimately resulted in an Islamic Republic under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.[75]

Arrival of Ayatollah Khomeini on 1 February 1979 from France Iran's relationship with the United States deteriorated rapidly during the revolution. On 4 November 1979, a group of Iranian students seized US embassy personnel, labelling the embassy a "den of spies".[76] They accused its personnel of being CIA agents plotting to overthrow the revolutionary government, as the CIA had done to Mohammad Mossadegh in 1953. While the student ringleaders had not asked for permission from Khomeini to seize the embassy, Khomeini nonetheless supported the embassy takeover after hearing of its success.[77] While most of the female and African American hostages were released within the first months,[77] the remaining fifty-two hostages were held for 444 days. Subsequently attempts by the Jimmy Carter administration to negotiate or rescue were unsuccessful. In January 1981 the hostages were set free according to the Algiers declaration. Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein decided to take advantage of what he perceived to be disorder in the wake of the Iranian Revolution and its unpopularity with Western governments. The once-strong Iranian military had been disbanded during the revolution. Saddam sought to expand Iraq's access to the Persian Gulf by acquiring territories that Iraq had claimed earlier from Iran during the Shah's rule. Of chief importance to Iraq was Khuzestan which not only has a substantial Arab population, but boasted rich oil fields as well. On the unilateral behalf of the United Arab Emirates, the islands of Abu Musa and the Greater and Lesser Tunbs became objectives as well. On 22 September 1980 the Iraqi army invaded Iran at Khuzestan, precipitating the Iran–Iraq War. Although Saddam Hussein's forces made several early advances, by 1982, Iranian forces managed to push the Iraqi army back into Iraq. Khomeini sought to export his Islamic revolution westward into Iraq, especially on the majority Shi'a Arabs living in the country. The war then continued for six more years until 1988, when Khomeini, in his words, "drank the cup of poison" and accepted a truce mediated by the United Nations. The total Iranian casualties of the war were estimated to be anywhere between 500,000 and 1,000,000; with more than 100,000 Iranians being victims of Iraq's chemical weapons.[78] Almost all relevant international agencies have confirmed that Saddam engaged in chemical warfare to blunt Iranian human wave attacks; these agencies unanimously confirmed that Iran never used chemical weapons during the war.[79][80][81]

Following the Iran–Iraq War President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and his administration concentrated on a pragmatic pro-business policy of rebuilding and strengthening the economy without making any dramatic break with the ideology of the revolution. Rafsanjani served until 1997 when he was succeeded by the moderate reformist Mohammad Khatami. During his two terms as president, Khatami advocated freedom of expression, tolerance and civil society, constructive diplomatic relations with other states including EU and Asian governments, and an economic policy that supported free market and foreign investment. However, Khatami is widely regarded as having been unsuccessful in achieving his goal of making Iran more free and democratic.[82] In the 2005 presidential elections, Iran made yet another change in political direction, when conservative populist candidate Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected over Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.[83] Government and politics Main articles: Politics and Government of Iran, Parliament of Iran, President of Iran, Assembly of Experts, Supreme Leader of Iran, Expediency Discernment Council, Judicial system of Iran, Council of Guardians, and City and Village Councils of Iran

Current government structure in Iran The political system of the Islamic Republic is based on the 1979 Constitution. The system comprises several intricately connected governing bodies. The Supreme Leader of Iran is responsible for delineation and supervision of the general policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran.[84] The Supreme Leader is Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, controls the military intelligence and security operations; and has sole power to declare war or peace.[84] The heads of the judiciary, state radio and television networks, the commanders of the police and military forces and six of the twelve members of the Council of Guardians are appointed by the Supreme Leader.[84] The Assembly of Experts elects and dismisses the Supreme Leader on the basis of qualifications and popular esteem.[85] The Assembly of Experts is responsible for supervising the Supreme Leader in the performance of legal duties.

After the Supreme Leader, the Constitution defines the President of Iran as the highest state authority.[84][86] The President is elected by universal suffrage for a term of four years and can only be re-elected for one term.[86] Presidential candidates must be approved by the Council of Guardians prior to running in order to ensure their allegiance to the ideals of the Islamic revolution.[87] The President is responsible for the implementation of the Constitution and for the exercise of executive powers, except for matters directly related to the Supreme Leader, who has the final say in all matters.[84] The President appoints and supervises the Council of Ministers, coordinates government decisions, and selects government policies to be placed before the legislature.[88] Eight Vice-Presidents serve under the President, as well as a cabinet of twenty two ministers, who must all be approved by the legislature.[89] Unlike many other states, the executive branch in Iran does not control the armed forces. Although the President appoints the Ministers of Intelligence and Defense, it is customary for the President to obtain explicit approval from the Supreme Leader for these two ministers before presenting them to the legislature for a vote of confidence. Iran's current president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was elected in a run-off poll in the 2005 presidential elections. His term expires in 2009.[90]

Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of Iran As of 2008, the Legislature of Iran (also known as the Majlis of Iran) is a unicameral body.[91] Before the Iranian Revolution, the legislature was bicameral, but the upper house was removed under the new constitution. The Majlis of Iran comprises 290 members elected for four-year terms.[91] The Majlis drafts legislation, ratifies international treaties, and approves the national budget. All Majlis candidates and all legislation from the assembly must be approved by the Council of Guardians.[92] The Council of Guardians comprises twelve jurists including six appointed by the Supreme Leader. The others are elected by the Parliament from among the jurists nominated by the Head of the Judiciary. [93][86] The Council interprets the constitution and may veto Parliament. If a law is deemed incompatible with the constitution or Sharia (Islamic law), it is referred back to Parliament for revision.[86] In a controversial exercise of its authority, the Council has drawn upon a narrow interpretation of Iran's constitution to veto parliamentary candidates. The Expediency Council has the authority to mediate disputes between Parliament and the Council of Guardians, and serves as an advisory body to the Supreme Leader, making it one of the most powerful governing bodies in the country.[94]

Shirin Ebadi, human rights activist who won 2003 Nobel Peace Prize The Supreme Leader appoints the head of Iran's Judiciary, who in turn appoints the head of the Supreme Court and the chief public prosecutor.[95] There are several types of courts including public courts that deal with civil and criminal cases, and "revolutionary courts" which deal with certain categories of offenses, including crimes against national security. The decisions of the revolutionary courts are final and cannot be appealed.[95] The Special Clerical Court handles crimes allegedly committed by clerics, although it has also taken on cases involving lay people. The Special Clerical Court functions independently of the regular judicial framework and is accountable only to the Supreme Leader. The Court's rulings are final and cannot be appealed.[95] The Assembly of Experts, which meets for one week annually, comprises 86 "virtuous and learned" clerics elected by adult suffrage for eight-year terms. As with the presidential and parliamentary elections, the Council of Guardians determines candidates' eligibility.[95] The Assembly elects the Supreme Leader and has the constitutional authority to remove the Supreme Leader from power at any time.[95] As all of their meetings and notes are strictly confidential, the Assembly has never been publicly known to challenge any of the Supreme Leader's decisions.[95] Local City Councils are elected by public vote to four-year terms in all cities and villages of Iran. According to article seven of Iran's Constitution, these local councils together with the Parliament are "decision-making and administrative organs of the State". This section of the constitution was not implemented until 1999 when the first local council elections were held across the country. Councils have many different responsibilities including electing mayors, supervising the activities of municipalities; studying, planning, co-ordinating and implementing of social, cultural, educational, health, economic, and welfare requirements of their constituencies. Foreign relations and military Main articles: Foreign relations of Iran, Military of Iran, and Iranian defense industry See also: Military history of Iran and List of military equipment manufactured in Iran

One of Iran's 6 SSK Kilo class submarines

Iran's foreign relations are based on two strategic principles: eliminating outside influences in the region and pursuing extensive diplomatic contacts with developing and non-aligned countries. Iran maintains diplomatic relations with almost every member of the United Nations, except for Israel, which Iran does not recognize, and the United States since the Iranian Revolution.[96] Since 2005, Iran's Nuclear Program has become the subject of contention with the West because of suspicions regarding Iran's military intentions. This has led the UN Security Council to impose sanctions against Iran on select companies linked to this program, thus furthering its economic isolation on the international scene. The Islamic Republic of Iran has two types of armed forces: the regular forces Islamic Republic of Iran Army, Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force, Islamic Republic of Iran Navy and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), totalling about 545,000 active troops. Iran also has around 350,000 Reserve Force totaling around 900,000 trained troops.[97] Iran has not invaded any country over the past two centuries.[98] Iran has a paramilitary, volunteer militia force within the IRGC, called the Basij, which includes about 90,000 full-time, active-duty uniformed members. Up to 11 million men and women are members of the Basij who could potentially be called up for service; estimates Iran could mobilize "up to one million men". This would be among the largest troop mobilizations in the world.[99] In 2005, Iran's military spending represented 3.3% of the GDP or $91 per capita, the lowest figure of the Persian Gulf nations.[100] Iran's military doctrine is based on deterrence.[101] Since the Iranian revolution, to overcome foreign embargo, Iran has developed its own military industry, produced its own tanks, armored personnel carriers, guided missiles, submarines, and fighter planes.[102] In recent years, official announcements have highlighted the development of weapons such as the Hoot, Kowsar, Zelzal, Fateh-110, Shahab-3 and Sajjil missiles, and a variety of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).[103] The Fajr-3 (MIRV) is currently Iran's most advanced ballistic missile, it is a liquid fuel missile with an undisclosed range which was developed and produced domestically. Economy Main article: Economy of Iran See also: Next Eleven, Central Bank of Iran, Tehran Stock Exchange, Transport in Iran, Communications in Iran, Construction in Iran, Privatization in Iran, Foreign Direct Investment in Iran, and Economic Cooperation Organization

Tehran is the largest city in the Middle East and is the most populated city in Southwest Asia Iran's economy is a mixture of central planning, state ownership of oil and other large enterprises, village agriculture, and small-scale private trading and service ventures.[104] Its economic infrastructure has been improving steadily over the past two decades but continues to be affected by inflation and unemployment.[105] In the early 21st century the service sector contributed the largest percentage of the GDP, followed by industry (mining and manufacturing) and agriculture. In 2006, about 45% of the government's budget came from oil and natural gas revenues, and 31% came from taxes and fees.[106] Government spending contributed to an average annual inflation rate of 14% in the period 2000–2004. Iran has earned $70 billion in foreign exchange reserves mostly from crude oil exports (80% as of 2007).[107] In 2007, the GDP was estimated at $206 billion ($852 billion at PPP), or $3,160 per capita ($12,300 at PPP).[29] Iran's official annual growth rate was at 6% (2008).[108] Because of these figures and the country’s diversified but small industrial base, the United Nations classifies Iran's economy as semi-developed.

Close to 1.8% of national employment is generated in the tourism sector which is slated to increase to 10% in the next five years.[110] About 1,659,000 foreign tourists visited Iran in 2004; most came from Asian countries, including the republics of Central Asia, while a small share came from the countries of the European Union and North America. Iran currently ranks 89th in tourist income, but is rated among the 10 most touristic countries in the world.[111] Weak advertising, unstable regional conditions, a poor public image in some parts of the world, and absence of efficient planning schemes in the tourism sector have all hindered the growth of tourism.

Tehran was one of the first cities in Iran which was modernized in the Pahlavi era The administration continues to follow the market reform plans of the previous one and indicated that it will diversify Iran's oil-reliant economy. Iran has also developed a biotechnology, nanotechnology, and pharmaceuticals industry.[112] The strong oil market since 1996 helped ease financial pressures on Iran and allowed for Tehran's timely debt service payments. Iranian budget deficits have been a chronic problem, mostly due to large-scale state subsidies, that include foodstuffs and especially gasoline, totaling more than $84 billion in 2008 for the energy sector alone.[113][114] The authorities so as the private sector have put in the past 15 years an emphasis on the local production of domestic-consumption oriented goods such as home appliances, cars, agricultural products, pharmaceutical, etc. Today, Iran possesses a good manufacturing

industry, despite restrictions imposed by foreign countries. However, nationalized industries such as the bonyads have often been managed badly, making them ineffective and uncompetitive with years. Currently, the government is trying to privatize these industries, and, despite successes, there are still several problems to be overcome, such as the lagging corruption in the public sector (and, therefore, nationalized industries) and lack of competitiveness. Globally, Iran has leading manufacture industry in the fields of car-manufacture and transportations, construction materials, home appliances, food and agricultural goods, armaments, pharmaceuticals, information technology, power and petrochemicals.[115] Energy Main articles: Energy in Iran, Ministry of Petroleum of Iran, Iranian Oil Bourse, and Nuclear program of Iran

Iran holds 10% of the world's proven oil reserves and 15% of its gas. It is OPEC's second largest exporter and the world's fourth oil producer. Iran ranks second in the world in natural gas reserves and also second in oil reserves.[116] It is OPEC's 2nd largest oil exporter. In 2005, Iran spent $4 billion on fuel imports, because of contraband and inefficient domestic use.[117] Oil industry output averaged 4 million barrels per day (640,000 m³/d) in 2005, compared with the peak of six million barrels per day reached in 1974. In the early 2000s, industry infrastructure was increasingly inefficient because of technological lags. Few exploratory wells were drilled in 2005. In 2004, a large share of Iran's natural gas reserves were untapped. The addition of new hydroelectric stations and the streamlining of conventional coal and oil-fired stations increased installed capacity to 33,000 megawatts. Of that amount, about 75% was based on natural gas, 18% on oil, and 7% on hydroelectric power. In 2004, Iran opened its first wind-powered and geothermal plants, and the first solar thermal plant is to come online in 2009. Demographic trends and intensified industrialization have caused electric power demand to grow by 8% per year. The government’s goal of 53,000 megawatts of installed capacity by 2010 is to be reached by bringing on line new gas-fired plants and by adding hydroelectric, and nuclear power generating capacity. Iran’s first nuclear power plant at Bushehr is set to go online by mid-2009.[118][119] Demography

Main articles: Demography of Iran, Iranian peoples, Religion in Iran, Health care in Iran, and Iranian citizens abroad

Mazandarani Persian Kurd Kurd Guilak Lur Balooch Azeri Turkmen Qashqai Uninhabited Iranian Arab Iranian Arab Pashtun Talysh Iran is a diverse country consisting of people of many religions and ethnic backgrounds cemented by the Persian culture. The majority of the population speaks the Persian language, which is also the official language of the country, as well as other Iranian languages or dialects. Turkic languages and dialects (most importantly Azeri) are spoken in different areas in Iran. Additionally, Arabic is spoken in the southwestern parts of the country. The main ethnic groups are Persians (51%), Azeris (24%), Gilaki and Mazandarani (8%), Kurds (7%), Arabs (3%), Baluchi (2%), Lurs (2%), Turkmens (2%), Laks, Qashqai, Armenians, Persian Jews, Georgians, Assyrians, Circassians, Tats, Mandaeans, Gypsies, Brahuis, Hazara, Kazakhs and others (1%).[29] Iran's population increased dramatically during the latter half of the 20th century, reaching about 72 million by 2008.[120] In recent years, however, Iran's birth rate has dropped significantly. Studies show that Iran's rate of population growth will continue to slow until it stabilizes above 90 million by 2050.[121][122] More than two-thirds of the population is under the age of 30, and the literacy rate is 82%.[29] Women today compose more than half of the incoming classes for universities around the country and increasingly continue to play pivotal roles in society.

Iran hosts one of the largest refugee populations in the world, with more than one million refugees, mostly from Afghanistan and Iraq. Since 2006, Iranian officials have been working with the UNHCR and Afghan officials for their repatriation.[123] According to estimates, between two and three million Iranian citizens have emigrated to other countries, mostly since the Iranian Revolution in 1979.[124]

Population of Iran Religion in Iran is dominated by the Twelver Shi'a branch of Islam, which is the official state religion and to which about 89% of Iranians belong. About 9% of Iranians belong to the Sunni branch of Islam, mainly Kurds and Iran's Balochi Sunni. The remaining 2% are non-Muslim religious minorities, including Bahá'ís, Mandeans, Hindus, Yezidis, Yarsanis, Zoroastrians, Jews, and Christians.[29] The latter three minority religions are officially recognized and protected, and have reserved seats in the Majlis (Parliament). However the Bahá'í Faith, Iran's largest religious minority[125], is not officially recognized, and has been persecuted during its existence in Iran. Since the 1979 revolution the persecution of Bahá'ís has increased with executions, the denial of civil rights and liberties, and the denial of access to higher education and employment.[126][127] According to the Iranian Constitution, the government is required to provide every citizen of the country with access to social security that covers retirement, unemployment, old age, disability, accidents, calamities, health and medical treatment and care services. This is covered by public revenues and income derived from public contributions. The World Health Organization in the last report on health systems ranks Iran's performance on health level 58th, and its overall health system performance 93rd among the world's nations.[128] Culture Main article: Culture of Iran See also: Media of Iran, Cinema of Iran, and Iranian cuisine

City Theater of Tehran, the largest Theater auditorium in the Middle East

The Culture of Iran is a mix of ancient pre-Islamic culture and Islamic culture. Iranian culture probably originated in Central Asia and the Andronovo culture is strongly suggested as the predecessor of Iranian culture ca. 2000 BC. Iranian culture has long been a predominant culture of the Middle East and Central Asia, with Persian considered the language of intellectuals during much of the 2nd millennium, and the language of religion and the populace before that. The Sassanid era was an important and influential historical period in Iran as Iranian culture influenced China, India and Roman civilization considerably,[129] and so influenced as far as Western Europe and Africa.[130] This influence played a prominent role in the formation of both Asiatic and European medieval art.[131] This influence carried forward to the Islamic world. Much of what later became known as Islamic learning, such as philology, literature, jurisprudence, philosophy, medicine, architecture and the sciences were based on some of the practises taken from the Sassanid Persians to the broader Muslim world.[132][133][134]

The statue of Ferdowsi in the Ferdwosi Square of Tehran After Islamicization of Iran Islamic rituals have penetrated in the Iranian culture. The most noticeable one of them is commemoration of Husayn ibn Ali. Every year in Day of Ashura most of Iranians, including Armenians and Zoroastrians participate in mourning for the martyrs of battle of Karbala. Daily life in modern Iran is closely interwoven with Shia Islam and the country's art, literature, and architecture are an ever-present reminder of its deep national tradition and of a broader literary culture.[134][135] The Iranian New Year (Nowruz) is an ancient tradition celebrated on 21 March to mark the beginning of spring in Iran. It is also celebrated in Afghanistan, Republic of Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and previously also in Georgia and Armenia. It is also celebrated by the Iraqi and Anatolian Kurds.[136] Nowrouz was nominated as one of UNESCO's Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2004.[137] The cuisine of Iran is diverse, with each province featuring dishes, as well as culinary traditions and styles, distinct to their regions. The main Persian cuisines are combinations of rice with meat, chicken or fish and some onion, vegetables, nuts, and herbs. Herbs are frequently used along with fruits such as plums, pomegranates, quince, prunes, apricots, and raisins. To achieve a balanced taste, characteristic flavourings such as saffron, dried limes, cinnamon, and parsley are mixed delicately and used in some special dishes. Onions and garlic are normally used in the preparation of the accompanying course, but are also served separately during meals, either in raw or pickled form. Iran is also famous for its caviar.[138] Iranian food is not spicy. Iranian cinema has thrived in modern Iran, and many Iranian directors have garnered worldwide recognition for their work. Iranian movies have won over three hundred

awards in the past twenty-five years. One of the best-known directors is Abbas Kiarostami. The media of Iran is a mixture of private and state-owned, but books and movies must be approved by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance before being released to the public. The Internet has become enormously popular among the Iranian youth. Iran is now the world's fourth largest country of bloggers.[139] Language and literature Main articles: Persian language, History of the Persian language, and Persian literature See also: Music of Iran and Persian miniature

The region where Persian (green) and other Iranian languages are spoken Article 15 of the Iranian constitution states that the "Official language (of Iran)... is Persian...[and]... the use of regional and tribal languages in the press and mass media, as well as for teaching of their literature in schools, is allowed in addition to Persian." Persian serves as a lingua franca in Iran and most publications and broadcastings are in this language. Next to Persian there are many publications and broadcastings in other relatively large languages of Iran such as Azeri, Kurdish and even in relatively smaller ones such as Arabic and Armenian. Many languages have originated from Iran, but Persian is the most used language. Persian is a tongue belonging to the Aryan or Iranian branch of the Indo-European family of languages. The oldest records in Old Persian date back to the Achaemenid Empire[140] and examples of Old Persian have been found in present-day Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Egypt. In the late 8th century, the Persian language was highly Arabized and written in a modified Arabic script. This caused a movement supporting the revival of Persian. An important event of this revival was the writing of the Shahname by Ferdowsi (Persian: Epic of Kings), Iran's national epic, which is said to have been written entirely in native Persian. This gave rise to a strong reassertion of Iranian national identity, and is in part credited for the continued existence of Persian as a separate language. “ ‫بسی رنج بردم در اين سال سی‬ ‫عجم زنده کردم بدين پارسی‬ For thirty years, I suffered much pain and strife with Persian I gave the Ajam verve and life —Ferdowsi (935–1020)

Kelileh va Demneh Persian manuscript copy dated 1429 Persian beside Arabic has been a medium for literary and scientific contributions to the Islamic world especially in Anatolia, central Asia and Indian sub-continent. Poetry is a very important part of Persian culture. Poetry is used in many classical works, whether from Persian literature, science, or metaphysics. For example about half of Avicenna's medical writings are known to be versified. Persian literature has been considered by such thinkers as Goethe as one of the four main bodies of world literature[141]. The Persian language has produced a number of famous poets, however only a few poets as Rumi and Omar Khayyám have surfaced among western popular readership, even though the likes of Hafez, Saadi, Nezami[142], Attar, Sanai, Naser Khusraw are considered by many Iranians to be just as influential. The books of famous poets have been translated into western languages since 1634. An example of Persian poetic influence is the poem below which is widely popular: “ ‫بنى آدم اعضاء يک پيکرند‬ ‫که در آفرينش ز يک گوهرند‬ ‫چو عضوى بدرد آورد روزگارد‬ ‫دگر عضوها را نماند قرار‬ Of one Essence is the human race thus has Creation put the base One Limb impacted is sufficient For all Others to feel the Mace

—Saadi (1184–1283) Art and Architecture Main articles: Iranian architecture and Iranian art

17th century painting from Hasht-Bahesht palace, Isfahan Greater Iran is home to one of the richest artistic traditions in world history and encompasses many disciplines, including architecture, painting, weaving, pottery, calligraphy, metalworking and stone masonry. Carpet-weaving is one of the most distinguished manifestations of Persian culture and art, and dates back to ancient Persia. Persians were among the first to use mathematics, geometry, and astronomy in architecture and also have extraordinary skills in making massive domes which can be seen frequently in the structure of bazaars and mosques. The main building types of classical Iranian architecture are the mosque and the palace. Iran, besides being home to a large number of art houses and galleries, also holds one of the largest and valuable jewel collections in the world.

Naqshe Jahan square in Isfahan is the epitome of 16th century Iranian architecture. Iran ranks seventh among countries in the world with the most archeological architectural ruins and attractions from antiquity as recognized by UNESCO.[143] Fifteen of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites are creations of Iranian architecture and the mausoleum of Maussollos was identified as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.[144] Science and technology

13th century manuscript depicting an epicyclic planetary model

Main article: Science in Iran See also: Education in Iran and Higher education in Iran Ancient Iranians built Qanats and Yakhchal to provide and keep water. The first windmill appeared in Iran in the 9th century.[145] Iranians contributed significantly to the current understanding of astronomy, natural science, medicine, mathematics, and philosophy. Muhammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī is widely hailed as the father of algebra. Ethanol (alcohol) was first identified by Persian alchemists such as Muhammad ibn Zakarīya Rāzi. Throughout the Middle Ages, the natural philosophy and mathematics of the Ancient Greeks and Persians were furthered and preserved within Persia. The Academy of Gundishapur was a renowned centre of learning in the city of Gundeshapur during late antiquity and was the most important medical centre of the ancient world during the sixth and seventh centuries.[146] During this period, Persia became a centre for the manufacture of scientific instruments, retaining its reputation for quality well into the 19th century.

The Safir rocket designed and sent the Omid satellite into orbit in 2009. Iran strives to revive the golden age of Persian science. The country has increased its publication output nearly tenfold from 1996 through 2004, and has been ranked first in terms of output growth rate followed by China.[147] Despite the limitations in funds, facilities, and international collaborations, Iranian scientists remain highly productive in several experimental fields as pharmacology, pharmaceutical chemistry, organic chemistry, and polymer chemistry. Iranian scientists are also helping construct the Compact Muon Solenoid, a detector for CERN's Large Hadron Collider. In the biomedical sciences, Iran's Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics is a UNESCO chair in biology.[148] in late 2006, Iranian scientists successfully cloned a sheep by somatic cell nuclear transfer, at the Rouyan research centre in Tehran.[149]

An 18th century Persian astrolabe The Iranian nuclear program was launched in the 1950s. Iran's current facilities includes several research reactors, a uranium mine, an almost complete commercial nuclear reactor, and uranium processing facilities that include a uranium enrichment plant. The Iranian Space Agency launched its first reconnaissance satellite named Sina-1 in 2006, and a space rocket in 2007,[150] which aimed at improving science and research for university students.[151] Iran placed its domestically-built satellite, Omid into the orbit on it's 30th anniversary of Iranian Revolution, on February 2, 2009,[152] through Safir rocket, becoming the ninth country in the world capable of both producing a satellite and sending it into space from a domestically-made launcher.[153] Iranian scientists outside of Iran have also made some major contributions to science. In 1960, Ali Javan co-invented the first gas laser and fuzzy set theory was introduced by Lotfi Zadeh.[154] Iranian cardiologist, Tofy Mussivand invented and developed the first artificial cardiac pump, the precursor of the artificial heart. Furthering research and treatment of diabetes, HbA1c was discovered by Samuel Rahbar. Iranian physics is especially strong in string theory, with many papers being published in Iran.[155] IranianAmerican string theorist Cumrun Vafa proposed the Vafa-Witten theorem together with Edward Witten. Sports

Azadi Football Stadium

Dizin skiing resort, Iran Main article: Sport in Iran With two thirds of Iran's population under the age of 25, sports constitutes a highly active portion of Iran's society, both traditional and modern. Iran hence was the birthplace of sports such as polo,[156] and Varzesh-e Pahlavani. Freestyle wrestling has been traditionally referred to as Iran's national sport, but today, the most popular sport in Iran is football (soccer), with the national team having reached the World Cup finals three times, and having won the Asian Cup on three occasions. Iran was the first country in the Middle East to host the Asian Games. It is home to several unique skiing resorts,[157] with the Tochal resort being the world's fifth-highest ski resort (3,730 m/12,238 ft at its highest station) situated only fifteen minutes away from Tehran. Being a mountainous country, Iran offers enthusiasts abundant challenges for hiking, rock climbing,[158] and mountain climbing.[159][160][161] Iranian women are also active in sports. References 1. ^ Iran Constitution retrieved 25 Feb 2008 2. ^ a b c d e Encyclopædia Britannica Encyclopedia Article: Media ancient region, Iran 3. ^ Andrew J. Newman, Safavid Iran: Rebirth of a Persian Empire, I. B. Tauris (March 30, 2006) 4. ^ a b c d "Iran". International Monetary Fund. sy=2008&ey=2008&scsm=1&ssd=1&sort=country&ds=.&br=1&c=429&s=NGD PD%2CNGDPDPC%2CPPPGDP%2CPPPPC&grp=0&a=&pr.x=36&pr.y=14. Retrieved on 2008-11-28. 5. ^ Persian: ‫ ,جمهوری اسلمی ايران‬pronounced [dʒomhuːɾije eslɒːmije iːɾɒn] 6. ^ 7. ^ a b c Iransaga, "Persia or Iran, a brief history". 8. ^ a b, Iranian & Persian Art. 9. ^, "The Concepts of Hinduism — Arya", retrieved 1 Oct 2007 10. ^, "Iranian Languages", Political, Social, Scientific, Literary & Artistic (Monthly) Oct 2000, No. 171, Dr. Suzan Kaviri, pp. 26–7, retrieved 1 Oct 2007 11. ^ "Iran — The Ancient Name of Iran", N.S. Gill, retrieved 1 Oct 2007 12. ^, "Select Committee on Foreign Affairs, Eighth Report, Iran, retrieved 1 Oct 2007 13. ^ IRAN @ 2000 and Beyond lecture series, opening address, W. Herbert Hunt, 18 May 2000, retrieved 1 Oct 2007

14. ^ Iranian History, Retrieved on February 2, 2009. 15. ^ Iranian Architecture & Monuments, Retrieved on February 2, 2009. 16. ^ Pottery Making in Iran, Retrieved on February 2, 2009. 17. ^ Andrew J. Newman, Safavid Iran: Rebirth of a Persian Empire, I. B. Tauris (March 30, 2006) 18. ^ R.M. Savory, Safavids, Encyclopedia of Islam, 2nd edition 19. ^ a b "The Islamic World to 1600", The Applied History Research Group, The University of Calgary, 1998, retrieved 1 Oct 2007 20. ^ a b Iran Islamic Republic, Encyclopaedia Britannica retrieved 23 January 2008 21. ^ a b Encyclopædia Britannica23 January 2008 22. ^ "‫( "قانون اساسی جمهوری اسلمی ايران‬in Persian). ‫ .قانون_اساسی_جمهوری_اسلمی_ايران‬retrieved 23 January 2008 23. ^ Bailey, Harold Walter (1987). "Arya". Encyclopedia Iranica. 2. New York: Routledge & Kegan Paul. p. 681-683. 24. ^ MacKenzie, David Niel (1998). "Ērān, Ērānšahr". Encyclopedia Iranica. 8. Costa Mesa: Mazda. 25. ^ a b "Anērān". Anērān. retrieved 25 Feb 2008 26. ^ World Statistics by Area retrieved 23 January 2008 27. ^ Welcome to Iran retrieved 25 Feb 2008 28. ^ Iran-Location, size, and extent retrieved 23 January 2008 29. ^ a b c d e CIA World Factbook. ""Iran"". Retrieved on 2008-03-04. 30. ^ SurfWax: News, Reviews and Articles On Hindu Kush retrieved 25 Feb 2008 31. ^ Nature & Mountains of Iran retrieved 25 Feb 2008 32. ^ a b c Iran- Current Information retrieved 25 feb 2008 33. ^ Payvand. ""Iran: Focus on reverse migration"". Retrieved on 2006-04-17. 34. ^ "Islamic Azad University", retrieved 28 Jan 2008 35. ^ Iranian National Portal of Statistics retrieved 27 Feb 2008 36. ^ Religious Tourism Potentials Rich retrieved 28 Feb 2008 37. ^ Mashhad, Iran retrieved 28 Feb 2008 38. ^ 0.xls retrieved 27 Feb 2008 39. ^ Xinhua, "New evidence: modern civilization began in Iran", 10 Aug 2007, retrieved 1 Oct 2007 40. ^ Iran Daily, "Panorama", 3 Mar 2007, retrieved 1 Oct 2007 41. ^, "Archaeologists: Modern civilization began in Iran based on new evidence", 12 Aug 2007, retrieved 1 Oct 2007 42. ^ retrieved 2006-04-29 43. ^ "The Palaeolithic Indo-Europeans" — (retrieved 4 June 2006)

44. ^ "The Persians". Retrieved on 2006-08-20. 45. ^, "Historical perspective on Zoroastrianism", Reproduced from Âtaš-è Dorün — The Fire Within, Jamshid Soroush Soroushian Memorial Volume II, 1st Books Library, Bloomington, IN, 2003, retrieved 1 Oct 2007 46. ^ Persians: Masters of Empire, 1995, ISBN 0809491044, p.142–143,Time-life Books 47. ^ Cotterell, Arthur. From Aristotle to Zoroaster: An a to Z Companion to the Classical World. 1998. p.272, Free Press 48. ^ Garthwaite, Gene R., The Persians, p. 2, ISBN 1405156805, Wiley-Blackwell (2006) 49. ^ Lorentz, John H. Historical Dictionary of Iran.Asian Historical Dictionaries; No.16. 1995. ISBN 9780810829947, p.189 50. ^ Arthur Cotterell, From Aristotle to Zoroaster: An a to Z Companion to the Classical World. 1998. ISBN 0684855968, p.344–345, Free Press 51. ^ Persians: Masters of Empire, 1995, ISBN 0809491044, p.134, Time-life Books 52. ^ Persians: Masters of Empire, 1995, ISBN 0809491044, p.138, Time-life Books 53. ^ "Even the architecture of the Christian church, with its hallowed chancel seems inspired by the designs of Mithraic temples". Abbas Milani. Lost Wisdom. 2004. Mage Publishers. p.13. ISBN 0934211906 54. ^ a b William Bayne Fisher, et. al., The Cambridge History of Iran 4 Published by Cambridge University Press, 1975, ISBN 0521200938, p. 396. Excerpt: 1. In a sense the scientific activity of this period continued what had been begun during the late Sasanian period, but on a much greater scale and with a more universal scope. 2. During this period, which is among the most outstanding in the history of science, Persia was the main theatre of scientific activity, 55. ^ o Robert Palter, Solomon Gandz, "Toward Modern Science : Studies in ancient and medieval science.", Published by Noonday Press, 1961, pg 180: "The so called golden age of Islamic science owed its importance to largely to the Persian contribution. o Ehsan Yarshater, "The Persian Presence in in the Islamic World" in Richard G. Hovannisian, Georges Sabagh, "The Persian Presence in the Islamic World", Published by Cambridge University Press, 1997. pg 6-7: "The Golden age of Islam, as the early Abbassid period has been labeled, was distinguished by intellectual advances, literary innovations, and cultural exuberance attributable, in no small measure, to the vital participation of Persian men of letters, philosophers, theologians, grammarians, mathematicians, musicians, astronomers, geographers, and physicians" o Bernard Lewis, "Iran in History", excerpt: "Culturally, politically, and most remarkable of all even religiously, the Iranian contribution to this new Islamic civilization is of immense importance. The work of Iranians can be seen in every field of cultural endeavor, including Arabic poetry, to which poets of Iranian origin composing their poems in Arabic made a very significant contribution." [1]

56. ^ The following references give comprehensive analysis and clarification of the terms "persian presence" and "perso-islamic" and the relation to Sassanids and the impact on Islamic cultures: o Marilyn Robinson Waldman, Toward a Theory of Historical Narrative: A Case Study in Perso-Islamicate Historiography, Published by Ohio State University Press, 1980, ISBN 0814202977, p. 30 o Richard M. Eaton, The Rise of Islam and the Bengal Frontier, 1204-1760, Published by University of California Press, 1996, ISBN 0520205073, p. 28 o Richard G. Hovannisian (ed.), The Persian Presence in the Islamic World, Published by Cambridge University Press, 1997, ISBN 0521591856. p.78. o P. M. Holt, et. al. The Cambridge History of Islam: Volume 2B, Published by Cambridge University Press, 1977, ISBN 0521291380. p. 501 57. ^ William Bayne Fisher, et. al., The Cambridge History of Iran 4 Published by Cambridge University Press, 1975, ISBN 0521200938, p. 397. 58. ^ Reynold Alleyne Nicholson. A Literary History of the Arabs, Published by Routledge, 1995, ISBN 0700703365, p. 290. 59. ^ Bosworth C. E., Cambridge History of Iran, vol. 4, p.90 60. ^ Kühnel E., in Zeittschrift der deutschen morgenländischen Gesell, Vol. CVI (1956) 61. ^ Nicholas J. Moutafakis, Byzantine Philosophy, Hackett Publishing, 2003, ISBN 0872205630, p. 189 62. ^ The memoirs of Edward Teller, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory "Science and Technology Review". July/August 1998 p20. Link: [2] 63. ^ Mackey, S.. The Iranians: Persia, Islam, and the soul of a nation. 1996. ISBN 0-525-94005-7. p.69. 64. ^ Battuta's Travels: Part Three — Persia and Iraq retrieved 23 January 2008 65. ^ Mackey, S.. The Iranians: Persia, Islam, and the soul of a nation. 1996. ISBN 0-525-94005-7. p.70 66. ^ Old World Contacts/Armies/Tamerlane retrieved 23 January 2008 67. ^ Mackey, S. The Iranians: Persia, Islam, and the soul of a nation. 1996. ISBN 0525-94005-7. p.69. 68. ^ Bertold Spuler. The Muslim World. Vol. I The Age of the Caliphs. Leiden. E.J. Brill. 1960 ISBN 0-685-23328-6 p.29 69. ^ Islamic Revolution of 1979, retrieved 23 January 2008 70. ^ Islamic Revolution of Iran, encarta, retrieved 23 January 2008 71. ^ Fereydoun Hoveyda, The Shah and the Ayatollah: Iranian Mythology and Islamic Revolution ISBN 0275978583, Praeger Publishers 72. ^ The Iranian Revolution retrieved 23 January 2008 73. ^ Jahangir Amuzegar, The Dynamics of the Iranian Revolution, (1991), p.4, 9–12 ISBN 0791407314 74. ^ Arjomand, Turban (1988), p. 191. 75. ^ Cheryl Benard, Zalmay Khalilzad, "The Government of God" ISBN 0231053762, Columbia University Press (1984), p. 18. 76. ^ PBS, American Experience, Jimmy Carter, "444 Days: America Reacts", retrieved 1 Oct 2007

77. ^ a b Guests of the Ayatollah: The Iran Hostage Crisis: The First Battle in America's War with Militant Islam, Mark Bowden, p. 127 ISBN 0802143032, Grove Press 78. ^ Centre for Documents of The Imposed War, Tehran. (‫)مرکز مطالعات و تحقيقات جنگ‬ 79. ^ "News". FAS. retrieved 23 January 2008 80. ^ 23 January 2008 81. ^ NTI Chemical profile of Iran 23 January 2008 82. ^ The Guardian, Tuesday 4 May 2004, Khatami blames clerics for failure 83. ^ "Iran hardliner becomes president". BBC. 3 August 2005. Retrieved on 2006-12-06. 84. ^ a b c d e [3] retrieved 13 May 2008 85. ^ Federal Research Division, Library of Congress. ""Iran — The Constitution"". Retrieved on 2006-04-14. 86. ^ a b c d Iran The Presidency retrieved 25 January 2008 87. ^ Chibli Mallat, The Renewal of Islamic Law: Muhammad Baqer As-Sadr, Najaf and the Shi'i international, ISBN 0521531225, Cambridge University Press 88. ^ retrieved 2 February 2008 89. ^ The Structure of Power in Iran retrieved 28 Feb 2008 90. ^ Biography of popular peoples: Mahmood Ahmadinejad retrieved 28 Feb 2008 91. ^ a b retrieved 3 February 2008 92. ^ Iran - The Council of Guardians retrieved 3 February 2008 93. ^ retrieved 3 February 2008 94. ^ _council.stm retrieved 3 February 2008 95. ^ a b c d e f, retrieved 3 Feb 2008 96. ^ Key Events in Iran Since 1921 retrieved 23 January 2008 97. ^ IISS Military Balance 2006, Routledge for the IISS, London, 2006, p.187 98. ^ Statement by Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs retrieved 28 June 2008 99. ^ Niruyeh Moghavemat Basij Mobilisation Resistance Force retrieved 27 Feb 2008 100. ^ Iran's defense spending 'a fraction of Persian Gulf neighbors' retrieved 27 Feb 2008 101. ^ IRNA: Iran's doctrine based on deterrenceretrieved 28 June 2008 102. ^ Iran Launches Production of Stealth Sub retrieved 27 Feb 2008 103. ^ "Iran tests new long-range missile". BBC. 2008-11-12. Retrieved on 2008-11-12. 104. ^ retrieved 23 January 2008 105. ^ "World Bank: Iran’s Economic Indices Improving". Iran Daily. 200707-08. Retrieved on 2007-07-08.

106. ^ IRNA: Crude price pegged at dlrs 39.6 a barrel under next year's budget Retrieved December 5, 2008 107. ^ [4] Forex Reserves Put at $70b Retrieved on 24 February 2008 108. ^ Surrounded:seeing the world from Iran's point of view Military review July-August 2007 Houman A. Sadri p.21 109. ^ "New World Encyclopedia", retrieved 28 Jan 2008 110. ^ retrieved 23 January 2008 111. ^ retrieved 15 Feb 2008 112. ^ List of Iranian Nanotechnology companies retrieved 23 January 2008 113. ^ "Ahmadinejad's Achilles Heel: The Iranian Economy" retrieved 23 January 2008 114. ^ "Energy subsidies reach $84b". Iran-Daily. 2007-01-08. Retrieved on 2008-0427. 115. ^ [5] retrieved 26 Feb 08 116. ^ retrieved 23 January 2008 117. ^ "U.S. targets Iran's vulnerable oil" retrieved 23 January 2008 118. ^ retrieved 23 January 2008 119. ^ Iran aims for 2009 launch of nuclear plantRetrieved November 23, 2008 120. ^ Asia-Pacific Population Journal, United Nations. ""A New Direction in Population Policy and Family Planning in the Islamic Republic of Iran"". Retrieved on 2006-0414. 121. ^ Census Bureau, Government of the U.S.A.. ""IDB Summary Demographic Data for Iran"". cty=IR. Retrieved on 2006-04-14. 122. ^ Iran News, ""Iran's population growth rate falls to 1.5 percent: UNFP"". Retrieved on 2006-10-18. 123. ^ United Nations, UNHCR. ""Tripartite meeting on returns to Afghanistan"". Retrieved on 2006-04-14. 124. ^ Migration Information Institute: Characteristics of the Iranian Diaspora Retrieved January 10, 2009 125. ^ International Federation for Human Rights (2003-08-01). "Discrimination against religious minorities in Iran" (PDF). 6. Retrieved on 2009-01-17. 126. ^ International Federation for Human Rights (2003-08-01). "Discrimination against religious minorities in Iran" (PDF). Retrieved on 2007-03-19. 127. ^ Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (2007). "A Faith Denied: The Persecution of the Bahá'ís of Iran" (PDF). Iran Human Rights Documentation Center. Retrieved on 2007-03-19.

128. ^ WHO, World Health Organisation. "The World Health Report 2000" (PDF). Retrieved on 2006-1012. 129. ^ J. B. Bury, History of the Later Roman Empire: From the Death of Theodosius I to the Death of Justinian Volume 1, p.109 ISBN 0486203980, Dover Publications 130. ^ Transoxiana 04: Sassanids in Africa retrieved 23 January 2008 131. ^ Iransaga: The art of Sassanids retrieved 23 January 2008 132. ^ Iran - A country study retrieved 23 January 2008 133. ^ History of Islamic Science 5 retrieved 23 January 2008 134. ^ a b Afary, Janet (2006). "Iran". Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Retrieved on 2007-10-29. 135. ^ ‫گزارش عزاداری ، ارامنه و زرتشتيان ايران‬ 136. ^ retrieved 23 January 2008 137. ^ Iran News, ""Nowrouz Vital Meeting to be Held in Tehran"". Retrieved on 200604-14. 138. ^ [6] 139. ^ Freedom in Farsi blogs retrieved 23 January 2008 140. ^ Katzner, Kenneth (2002). The Languages of the World. Routledge. pp. 163. ISBN 0415250048. 141. ^ Von David Levinson, Karen Christensen, Encyclopedia of Modern Asia, Charles Scribner's Sons. 2002 pg 48 142. ^ C. A. (Charles Ambrose) Storey and Franço de Blois (2004), “Persian Literature - A Biobibliographical Survey: Volume V Poetry of the Pre-Mongol Period.”, RoutledgeCurzon; 2nd revised edition (June 21, 2004). ISBN-10: 0947593470. Pg 363: “Nizami Ganja’i, whose personal name was Ilyas, is the most celebrated native poet of the Persians after Firdausi. His nisbah designates him as a native of Ganja (Elizavetpol, Kirovabad) in Azerbaijan, then still a country with an Iranian population 143. ^ Bustling bazaars and ancient sights, parched deserts and snowcapped mountains, awesome architecture and simple hospitality retrieved 23 January 2008 144. ^ Edgar James Banks, The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1916, p. v, (the and tomb of king Maussollos is number 5 in the list) 145. ^ Ahmad Y Hassan, Donald Routledge Hill (1986). Islamic Technology: An illustrated history, p. 54. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-42239-6. 146. ^ The Cambridge History of Iran Vol 4, p396. ISBN 0-521-20093-8 147. ^ retrieved 23 January 2008 148. ^ Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics retrieved 23 January 2008 149. ^ The first successfully cloned animal in Iran retrieved 7 August 2008 150. ^ Rocket launch retrieved 23 January 2008

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Map of Iran Islamic Republic of Iran National name: Jomhuri-ye Eslami-ye Iran Chief of State: Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (1989) President: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (2005) Current government officials Land area: 631,659 sq mi (1,635,999 sq km); total area: 636,293 sq mi (1,648,000 sq km) Population (2008 est.): 65,875,223 (growth rate: 0.7%); birth rate: 16.8/1000; infant mortality rate: 36.9/1000; life expectancy: 70.8; density per sq km: 40 Capital and largest city (2003 est.): Tehran, 7,796,257 (city proper) Other large cities: Mashad, 2,061,100; Isfahan, 1,378,600; Tabriz, 1,213,400 Monetary unit: Rial Languages: Persian and Persian

Geography Iran, a Middle Eastern country south of the Caspian Sea and north of the Persian Gulf, is three times the size of Arizona. It shares borders with Iraq, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Armenia, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. The Elburz Mountains in the north rise to 18,603 ft (5,670 m) at Mount Damavend. From northwest to southeast, the country is crossed by a desert 800 mi (1,287 km) long.

Government Iran has been an Islamic theocracy since the Pahlavi monarchy regime was overthrown on Feb. 11, 1979.

History The region now called Iran was occupied by the Medes and the Persians in the 1500s B.C., until the Persian king Cyrus the Great overthrew the Medes and became ruler of the Achaemenid (Persian) Empire, which reached from the Indus to the Nile at its zenith in 525 B.C. Persia fell to Alexander in 331–330 B.C. and a succession of other rulers: the Seleucids (312–302 B.C.), the Greek-speaking Parthians (247 B.C.–A.D. 226), the

Sasanians (224–c. 640), and the Arab Muslims (in 641). By the mid-800s Persia had become an international scientific and cultural center. In the 12th century it was invaded by the Mongols. The Safavid dynasty (1501–1722), under whom the dominant religion became Shiite Islam, followed, and was then replaced by the Qajar dynasty (1794–1925). During the Qajar dynasty, the Russians and the British fought for economic control of the area, and during World War I, Iran's neutrality did not stop it from becoming a battlefield for Russian and British troops. A coup in 1921 brought Reza Kahn to power. In 1925, he became shah and changed his name to Reza Shah Pahlavi. He subsequently did much to modernize the country and abolished all foreign extraterritorial rights. Iran Becomes a Theocracy with Islamic Revolution The country's pro-Axis allegiance in World War II led to Anglo-Russian occupation of Iran in 1941 and deposition of the shah in favor of his son, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi. Pahlavi's Westernization programs alienated the clergy, and his authoritarian rule led to massive demonstrations during the 1970s, to which the shah responded with the imposition of martial law in Sept. 1978. The shah and his family fled Iran on Jan. 16, 1979, and the exiled cleric Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returned to establish an Islamic theocracy. Khomeini proceeded with his plans for revitalizing Islamic traditions. He urged women to return to wearing the veil; banned alcohol, Western music, and mixed bathing; shut down the media; closed universities; and eliminated political parties. U.S. and Iran Sever Ties Amid Hostage Crisis Revolutionary militants invaded the U.S. embassy in Tehran on Nov. 4, 1979, seized staff members as hostages, and precipitated an international crisis. Khomeini refused all appeals, even a unanimous vote by the UN Security Council demanding immediate release of the hostages. Iranian hostility toward Washington was reinforced by the Carter administration's economic boycott and deportation order against Iranian students in the U.S., the break in diplomatic relations, and ultimately an aborted U.S. raid in April 1980 aimed at rescuing the hostages. As the first anniversary of the embassy seizure neared, Khomeini and his followers insisted on their original conditions: guarantee by the U.S. not to interfere in Iran's affairs, cancellation of U.S. damage claims against Iran, release of $8 billion in frozen Iranian assets, an apology, and the return of the assets held by the former imperial family.

These conditions were largely met and the 52 American hostages were released on Jan. 20, 1981, ending 444 days in captivity. The sporadic war with Iraq regained momentum in 1982, as Iran launched an offensive in March and regained much of the border area occupied by Iraq in late 1980. The stalemated war dragged on well into 1988. Although Iraq expressed its willingness to stop fighting, Iran stated that it would not end the war until Iraq agreed to pay for war damages and to punish the Iraqi government leaders involved in the conflict. On July 20, 1988, Khomeini, after a series of Iranian military reverses, agreed to cease-fire negotiations with Iraq. A cease-fire went into effect on Aug. 20, 1988. Khomeini died in June 1989 and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei succeeded him as the supreme leader. Khatami Attempts to Liberalize Nation By early 1991 the Islamic revolution appeared to have lost much of its militancy. Attempting to revive a stagnant economy, President Rafsanjani took measures to decentralize the command system and introduce free-market mechanisms. Mohammed Khatami, a little-known moderate cleric, former newspaperman, and national librarian, won the presidential election with 70% of the vote on May 23, 1997, a stunning victory over the conservative ruling elite. Khatami supported greater social and political freedoms, but his steps toward liberalizing the strict clerical rule governing the country put him at odds with the supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei. Signaling a seismic change in Iran's political environment, reform candidates won the overwhelming majority of seats in Feb. 2000 parliamentary elections, thereby wresting control from hard-liners, who had dominated the parliament since the 1979 Islamic revolution. The parliament's reformist transformation greatly buttressed the efforts of Khatami in constructing a nation of “lasting pluralism and Islamic democracy.” Khatami walked a jittery tightrope between student groups and other liberals pressuring him to introduce bolder freedoms and Iran's military and conservative clerical elite (including Khamenei), who expressed growing impatience with the president's liberalizing measures. In June 2001 presidential elections, Khatami won reelection with a stunning 77% of the vote. In Jan. 2002, U.S. president Bush announced that Iran was part of an “axis of evil,” calling it one of the most active state sponsors of international terrorism.

Iran Taunts World With Its Nuclear Ambitions By 2003, Iran was fanning much of the world's suspicions that it had illegal nuclear ambitions. In June 2003, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) criticized Iran's concealment of much of its nuclear facilities and called on the country to permit more rigorous inspections of its nuclear sites. Under intense international pressure, Iran reluctantly agreed in December to suspend its uranium enrichment program and allow for thorough IAEA inspections. On Dec. 26, the most destructive earthquake of 2003 devastated the historic city of Bam, killing an estimated 28,000 to 30,000 of its 80,000 residents. In Feb. 2004, conservatives won a landslide victory in parliamentary elections, a setback for Iran's reformist movement. The hard-line Guardian Council had disqualified more than 2,500 reformist candidates, including more than 80 who were already members of the 290-seat parliament. The IAEA again censured the country in June 2004 for failing to fully cooperate with nuclear inspections. Neither U.S. threats nor Europe's coaxing managed to halt Iran's alarming defiance. Ahmadinejad Elected President In June 2005, former Tehran mayor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a hard-line conservative and a devout follower of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, won the presidential election with 62% of the vote. Ahmadinejad was highly popular among Iran's rural poor, who responded to his pledge to fight corruption among the country's elite. In Aug. 2005, he rejected an EU disarmament plan that was backed by the U.S. and had been under negotiation for two years. Ahmadinejad has been defiantly anti-Western and venomously anti-Israeli, announcing that Israel was a “disgraceful blot” that should be “wiped off the map.” Iran Continues Progress on Nuclear Technology In Jan. 2006, Iran removed UN seals on uranium enrichment equipment and resumed nuclear research. France, Britain, and Germany called off nuclear talks with Iran, and along with the United States, threatened to refer Iran to the UN Security Council, a step avoided thus far. Russia and China, both of whom have strong economic ties to Iran, refused to endorse sanctions. In April Iran announced it had successfully enriched

uranium. In July a Security Council resolution was finally passed, demanding that Iran halt its nuclear activities by the end of August or face possible sanctions. In May 2007, the International Atomic Energy Agency reported that Iran is using about 1,300 centrifuges and producing fuel for nuclear reactors, evidence that the country has flouted another deadline to stop enriching uranium. The fuel would have to be further enriched to make it weapons grade, however. In September, Iran followed the IAEA's finding with the announcement that it had reached its goal of developing 3,000 active centrifuges. A National Intelligence Estimate, released in December 2007 and compiled by the 16 agencies of the U.S. intelligence community, reported "with high confidence" that Iran had frozen its nuclear weapons program in 2003. The report contradicted one written in 2005 that stated Iran was determined to continue developing such weapons. The report seemed to immediately put the brakes on any plans by the Bush administration to preemptively attack Iran's weapons facilities and to impose another round of sanctions against Iran. The report suggests that Iran has bowed to international pressure to end its pursuit of an atomic bomb. "Iran may be more vulnerable to influence on the issues than we judged previously," it said. After the release of the intelligence report, President Bush, however, said Iran remains a threat and can not be trusted to pursue enriching uranium for civilian use. "Look, Iran was dangerous, Iran is dangerous, and Iran will be dangerous, if they have the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon," he said. "What’s to say they couldn’t start another covert nuclear weapons program?" In May 2008, Parliament overwhelmingly elected former secretary of the Supreme National Security Council Ali Larijani as speaker. Larijani, a rival to Ahmadinejad, though conservative and a proponent of the country's nuclear program, is considered a pragmatist who would be open to talking to the West. Iran continued to taunt the U.S. and Israel in July when it test-fired nine long- and medium-range missiles, which could reach parts of Israel. A commander of the Revolutionary Guard said, "The aim of these war games is to show we are ready to defend the integrity of the Iranian nation." The United States and Israel both condemned the move. Just days later, Iran's chief negotiator, Saeed Jalili, met with representatives from the U.S., France, Britain, Germany, Russia, and China to discuss the country's nuclear program. Iran, however, refused to accept a proposal that called on Iran to freeze its nuclear program, and in exchange, the six nations would not seek further sanctions

against Iran. William Burns, the U.S. under secretary of state for political affairs, who attended the meeting, is the highest-ranking member of the Bush administration to meet with a representative from Iran. Iran launched a satellite into orbit in January 2009. The launch was timed to coincide with Iran's celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Islamic revolution. The U.S. expressed "great concern" about the move, fearing it could lead to the development of longer-range ballistic missiles. See also Encyclopedia: Iran. U.S. State Dept. Country Notes: Iran

EDUCATION IN IRAN Education System in Iran INTRODUCTION Since the Islamic Revolution of 1979 in Iran, the educational system of the country has gone under qualitative and quantitative changes. As far as quantitative changes are concerned, this education profile provides an overview of the Iranian education system. A critical assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the Iranian education system requires an in-depth analysis of its structure, which goes beyond the scope of this profile. This profile, nevertheless, seeks to provide basic information about the education system in Iran for those who are interested in becoming familiar with this system, particularly those post-secondary institutions abroad, which have admitted many Iranian students in recent years. According to the Iranian Ministry of Culture and Higher Education, there are approximately 50,000 Iranian students currently studying abroad. This profile, thus, describes the structure of the education system in Iran which is basically divided into five cycles namely, pre-school, primary, middle (or guidance), secondary and post-secondary. Three outstanding characteristics of the Iranian education system must be mentioned at this point. First, elementary education is mandatory under the Iranian constitution. Secondly, due to increasing number of applicants, admission to post-secondary institutions is through a nation-wide entrance examination and thus only the most talented students can enter universities. Finally, in general, education (in primary, secondary, and post-secondary levels) is free of charge though private schools and universities authorized by law are allowed to charge tuition fees. Through a description of the structure of the Iranian education system, this profile first describes in detail the pre-school, primary, intermediate, and secondary cycles. Secondly, it focuses on post-secondary education and provides extensive amount of information about the Iranian universities and colleges, various fields of study at universities, and different courses which are currently offered. Finally, some data in the form of tables and graphs will be provided which demonstrate the number of students (male and female) currently studying at various post-secondary institutions as well as the distribution of students along fields of study and universities. Furthermore, by means of a graphic illustration, the number of students as well as education staff before and after the Islamic Revolution (1969 to 1990) are compared. SCHOOL EDUCATION The school system is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education and Training. In addition to schools, this Ministry also has responsibility for some

teacher training and some technical institutes. The Ministry of Education employs the highest number of civil servants -42 per cent of the total- and receives 21 per cent of the national budget. A total of 15,018,903 students were enrolled in 87,024 schools with 485,186 classes throughout the country in the academic year 1990-91. The breakdown was as follows: 509 schools for disabled children, 3,586 kindergartens, 59,280 elementary schools, 15,580 intermediate schools, 4,515 secondary schools, 380 technical schools, 405 business studies and vocational schools, 64 agriculture schools, 238 urban and 182 rural elementary school teachers' training colleges, seven vocational and professional teachers' training colleges and 19 institutes of technology. There are also 2,259 adult education schools. The structure of the educational system under this Ministry is divided into the following cycles: Pre-school Education cycle A one-year program for children five years old in which they receive the basic notions needed to enter primary schools. There is no exam at the end of this cycle and children proceed automatically to the following cycle. Primary Education cycle The five-year primary cycle covers grades 1-5 for children 6 to 11 years old. This phase is both free and compulsory. Students take exams at the end of each year on which their promotion to the following grade is based. At the end of the grade 5, students take a nation-wide examination. Those who pass the exam are qualified to proceed to the next cycle. Middle (Guidance) Cycle This cycle covers grades 6 to 8 for children 11 to 13 years old. Like the preceding cycle, this cycle also provides students with general education. In this phase, the abilities as well as the interests of students are recognized, so they become prepared to decide which branch (academic or technical/vocational) they intend to choose in the next cycle. At the end of guidance cycle, students take a regional examination under the supervision of provincial boards of education. Those who pass the examination are eligible to proceed to the next cycle i.e., secondary cycle. Secondary Education cycle This is a four-year stage which covers grade 9 to Grade 12, from age 14 to 17. Secondary education is divided into two main branches namely, academic/general and technical/vocational. The choice of either branch is up to

pupils themselves. The academic branch, also known as the "theoretical branch" is divided into four mainstreams namely, literature and culture, socioeconomic, physics-mathematics, and finally experimental sciences. The technical/vocational branch is particularly designed to train technicians for the labor market. This branch covers three mainstreams namely, technical, business/vocational, and agriculture. There are specific subject and performance requirements for admission to some secondary programs. National examinations are conducted at the end of each grade during the secondary cycle. For the curricula and educational system see the diagrams in appendix A. The Ministry of Education has been studying a new secondary education system for several years. The new plan which was approved in 1990 aims at upgrading the quality of secondary cycle by making use of latest educational developments. Having finished their guidance cycle, students can proceed to secondary cycle choosing either vocational/technical or academic branch. Accordingly, the secondary education cycle is reduced to three years during which students are required to complete 96 units in order to be awarded the High School Diploma. The secondary graduates who are interested in postsecondary education must complete one preparation year to be entitled for attending the university entrance examination known as KONKUR. This nation-wide examination serves as the general National Entrance Examination for admission to universities. At the end, some points worth mentioning. First, English as a second language is introduced from grade 7. Second, private schools were permitted to re-open again in 1988 as "non-profit" institutions. Third, although education is free and compulsory for the first five years of schooling, there are differences between urban and rural areas as well as different regions in the country with respect to the availability of schools and various programs. Fourth, the Ministry of Education supervises some educational researches and curriculum development. Fifth, the Ministry of Education has jurisdiction over some postsecondary programs such as teacher training programs which will be mentioned later. It has also the responsibility for providing textbooks for all pre-university educational courses and prints 747 titles in 100 million copies a year. Finally, the Ministry of Education runs a number of schools outside Iran, mainly in the Persian Gulf countries as well as some European countries in which 13,703 students are enrolled. HIGHER EDUCATION The two Ministries responsible for most post-secondary education are the Ministry of Culture and Higher Education (MCHE) and Ministry of Health and Medical Education (MHME). However, as indicated before, the Ministry of Education also has jurisdiction over some post-secondary

programs such as primary and guidance teachers training colleges and Higher Institutes of Technical and Vocational Education. In what follows first some basic information about the teacher training programs will be provided and then other post-secondary programs will be described. Teacher Education The primary as well as guidance schoolteachers are trained in a number of various institutions under the auspices of the Ministry of Education. Secondary school teachers are trained in universities under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Culture and Higher Education. Teacher training centers affiliated with the Ministry of Education train primary and guidance schoolteachers. There are several centers, which perform this task as follows: Rural Teacher Training Centers Because of the shortage of teachers in rural areas, the Ministry has established specific institutions for training teachers who will be teaching at rural areas. After finishing the guidance cycle (grade 8), students will be trained in special institutions for the duration of four years. After graduation, they will teach in schools in rural areas. Furthermore, under a new plan, the Ministry will be sending conscripts as teachers in rural areas. One thousand conscripts started their work at rural areas in the academic year 1989-1990. Primary school teacher training institution (grades 1-5) After finishing grade 10 in the high school, some students who are interested in teaching will be admitted to this special teacher-training program which lasts only two years. The graduates of this program are entitled to teach in either rural or urban primary schools. Guidance cycle teacher training centers (grades 6-8) For the purpose of training qualified teachers for grades 6-8, the Ministry admits students who have already graduated from the high school and hold their diploma through a nation-wide examination. They are required to study for another 2 years in teacher training institutions. Both primary and guidance teacher training institutions offer wide range of courses which lead to the award of an Associate Diploma. These institutions offer courses in 14 streams. Each student is supposed to specialize in only one stream. The major streams are as follows:
• • •

Primary education Persian language English language

• • • • • • • • • •     

French language Experimental sciences Social sciences Mathematics Vocational and technical training Islamic ethics and Arabic language Art Fostering affairs (Child development) Physical education Children with special needs: The geniuses blind and partly blind deaf and partly deaf mentally retarded, teachable unsociable and physical defects

Secondary school teachers are trained at tertiary-level institutions, which are affiliated to the Ministry of Culture and Higher Education. In order to qualify for teaching in high schools, teachers must have a Bachelor degree for both the academic and technical streams. There are two ways to qualify: One is that a holder of a Bachelor degree in a field other than education completes a oneyear teacher-training program; The other is that a secondary school graduate completes a four-year program leading to a Bachelor of Education. The latter can be done in two stages in two years each. At the end of the first two years, a graduate may choose to receive the Associate Diploma, which qualifies him/her to teach at the guidance cycle level. The main universities, which are devoted to the task of training secondary school teachers, are listed below. It should be remembered that only students with High School Diploma who pass the national entrance examination (KONKUR) are entitled to continue their post-secondary studies at these institutions:
• • • • •

TARBIAT-E MOALEM (Teacher Training) University, Tehran . Faculties of Education at major universities : Colleges of Education, Ministry of Education : (Vocational and technical teachers) The faculty of education at the University of Tehran trains educational specialists and not classroom teachers. Several major universities, e.g. Tabriz, Mashhad and Isfahan offer postgraduate degrees in education.

Other Post-Secondary Programs Since the victory of the Islamic Revolution, new universities and colleges have

been established, offering wide range of specializations. Moreover, since 1987, masters and doctorate courses have been offered in many different disciplines. In 1989 the MCHE reported that there were over 100 institutions of higher education of which 30 were universities, 14 were university complexes and colleges, 5 were non-governmental private colleges and 36 were higher education centers and government agencies. The number of students standing at 175,675 in 1979, has increased to more than 344,045 in 1991-92, of which 96969 (28.18%) were women and 247,076 (71.82%) men. Full and part time, and hourly paid teaching staff numbered 14,160 and 9,216 people respectively, of whom 19,326 were men and 4,050 women. In addition, there are so many Iranian students who study abroad. The Iranian government has sent many top graduate students to foreign universities, since an important component of its educational strategy has involved foreign training for students in a variety of fields. Of almost 50,000 Iranian students who study abroad, there are approximately 4000 sponsored scholarship students, one fourth of which attend Canadian universities. The main branches currently offered in the Iranian universities comprise Natural and Basic Sciences, Humanities, Medical and Health Sciences, Arts and Literature, Engineering, and Agriculture. The highest number of students, 25.5 per cent, was found in engineering branches. This figure is followed by 24.2 per cent for medical and health field of study, 13.4 per cent for pedagogic and teachers' training, and 8.2 per cent for literature, humanities and academic theology. The admission is based on the results of National Entrance Examination (KONKUR). In order to be recognized as formal, higher education institutions, which are operated by either Ministries other than the MCHE/MHME, or by private groups should be accredited. Either the MCHE or MHME should also approve their programs. Recently, the MCHE has given permission to some non-profit post-secondary education institutes to operate providing that the Ministry approves their program. One thing that has not changed since the Islamic Revolution is that admission to university remains extremely competitive and thus very difficult. Although all universities work with full capacity, demand for post-secondary education still far exceeds supply. For example, of the 752,343 applicants in the academic year 1989-90, only 61,000 or one-twelfth were admitted to various post-secondary institutions. In order to alleviate this problem at least partly and in order to enable all talented, interested individuals to pursue their higher education, two measures were taken. First, an Islamic Azad (open) University was established after the revolution in 1981. Its activities quickly expanded throughout the country, so that today thousands of students are benefiting from its high educational standards. Not relying on government funding, it charges

students with tuition fees. About 180,000 students in 80 towns and cities were enrolled in this university in 1988-89, studying single subjects or taking full time day or evening courses. Applicants do not have to produce specific educational certificates to enter this university, but its entrance examinations match those of other universities.The certificates issued by this university should be recognized upon evaluation by the Ministry of Culture and Higher Education. The other way to alleviate this problem has been to establish correspondence universities. The PAYAAM-E NOOR University was set up in 1987. It, too, charges tuition fees and principally aims at providing teachers and civil servants the opportunity to continue their education. Courses are given through television and correspondence and students write exams at local university offices. Courses and Awards Associate Diploma Admission Requirements: Students with high school diploma should take the nation-wide entrance examination in order to be admitted to this program. Program Some universities and higher education institutions as well as primary and guidance teachers’ training centers award the associate degree. Students should complete 72-78 units, which normally takes two years. Bachelor Degree Admission Requirements: Admission is based on completion of secondary school, plus the "Konkur" university entrance examination. Program Full-time bachelor students will normally be expected to finish their degree in 4-5 years. No part-time programs are available and there are time limits on the completion of all degrees. The following standing must be held as a degree is being completed: (A) Registration for a minimum of 14 units, and depending on academic performance, registration up to a maximum of 21 units per semester. (B) The completion of a minimum of 153 units.

(C) An overall Grade Point Average of 12 out of 20. Master Degree Admission Requirements: The master program is intended for high achievement graduates from honors undergraduate programs. Students, who have completed a bachelor or an equivalent degree with an average of at least 14 out of 20 or above, may be admitted to the program. Bachelor holding students who want to be admitted must pass the entrance exam. Program Full-time master students will normally be expected to finish their degree in two years by choosing one of the following options depending on the field of study: A. The completion of 38 units; B. The completion of a minimum of 30 units, and a thesis; C. The completion of a minimum of 22 units and a research-based thesis.

Continuous Master Degree This degree is offered in the fields of dentistry, medicine, pharmacy and veterinary medicine as well as some other fields. Since this degree is taken up after high school graduation, it requires the completion of 210-290 units with a dissertation. Doctoral Degree Admission Requirements: A master degree, or an equivalent degree, with at least high second class standing (overall average of 16 out of 20 or more) is required. Graduates with master degree must participate in the Ph.D. entrance examination in order to proceed to doctoral program. Program Full-time doctoral students will normally require a minimum of three years (and a maximum of 6 years) of study following a master degree. Since the whole master and Ph.D. programs comprise 60 units of course work altogether, the Ph.D. student is required to complete up to 60 units. Thus, if the Ph.D. candidate has already completed 30 units during his/her master studies, he/she is required to take the reminder, which is 30 units. If the Ph.D. candidate has completed 28 units during the master program, he/she is required to take 32 units during the Ph.D. program and so on. The Ph.D. student must successfully complete the required units with an overall average

of 14 out of 20 in each semester. When all course work is done, the candidate sits for comprehensive examinations. Writing a dissertation is the final requirement to be fulfilled by the Ph.D. candidate in order to be awarded the degree. THE GRADING SYSTEM Promotion through the Iranian education system is based on end-of-year examinations at primary, intermediate, and secondary cycles, and end-of-term examinations (sometimes both middle- and end-of-term examinations) at postsecondary cycle. At primary, intermediate, and secondary schools, system of grading is based on a 0-20 scale. An average scale of at least 10 is required for promotion. At the post-secondary level a system of grading based on a 0-20 scale is used too. The letter grade equivalents are
• • • •

A = 17 – 20 B = 14 - 16.9 C = 12 - 13.9 D = 10 - 11.9

The minimum grade for a subject credit in undergraduate programs is 10, in graduate programs is 12 and in PhD. programs is 14. The Grade Point Average (GPA) of 12 in undergraduate programs and 14 in graduate programs is required. Students from institutions under the jurisdiction of MCHE or MHME should be able to obtain transcripts unless they owe to their university. Official transcripts are issued and translations sealed by either the related Ministry or the Justice Administration of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Some universities such as Amir Kabir University, Sharif University of Technology and Shiraz University issue transcripts only in English. This includes transcripts issued directly to students. Appendix A, Chart and Details Appendix C, Medical Universities Informative Statistics

Education system in Iran Appendix B, University Information Education in Iran

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search

Iran's educational system comprises many schools and universities scattered throughout the country. Kindergarten (Pish Dabestani or Amadegi) in Iran, also mandatory, begins at the age of 5 for 1-year duration. Primary school (Dabestan) starts at the age of 6 for a duration of 5 years. Middle school, also known as orientation cycle (Rahnamayi), goes from the sixth to the eighth grade. High school (Dabirestan), for which the last three years is not mandatory, is divided between theoretical, vocational/technical and manual, each program with its own specialties. Universities, institutes of technology, medical schools and community colleges, provide the higher education. The requirement to enter into higher education is to have a High school diploma, and finally pass the national University entrance's exam. Higher education is sanctioned by different levels of diplomas: Fogh-Diplom or Kardani (equivalent to a Baccalaureate in technical engineering) after 2 years of higher education, Karshenasi (also known under the name “licence”) is delivered after 4 years of higher education (Bachelor's degree). Fogh Licence is delivered after 2 more years of study (Master's degree). After which, another exam allows the candidate to pursue a doctoral program (PhD). Contents [hide]
• • • • • • • •

1 History of education in Iran o 1.1 Modern education 2 Higher education 3 Schools for Gifted Children 4 Organization for Educational Research and Planning (OERP) 5 Prominent high schools in Iran: historical and current 6 Statistics 7 See also 8 External links

[edit] History of education in Iran See also: Madrasah [edit] Modern education The first Western-style public schools were established by Haj-Mirza Hassan Roshdih. There are both free public schools and private schools in Iran at all levels, from elementary school through university. At the university level, however, every student attending public schools is required to commit to serve the government for a number of years typically equivalent to those spent at the university, or pay it off for a very low price (typically a few hundred dollars). During the early 1970s, efforts were made to

improve the educational system by updating school curricula, introducing modern textbooks, and training more efficient teachers. The 1979 revolution continued the country's emphasis on education, but Khomeini's regime put its own stamp on the process. The most important change was the Islamization of the education system. All students were segregated by sex. In 1980, the Cultural Revolution Committee was formed to oversee the institution of Islamic values in education. An arm of the committee, the Center for Textbooks (composed mainly of clerics), produced 3,000 new college-level textbooks reflecting Islamic views by 1983. Teaching materials based on Islam were introduced into the primary grades within six months of the revolution. [edit] Higher education Main articles: Higher education in Iran and List of universities in Iran Iranian universities churn out almost 750,000 skilled graduates annually. The tradition of university education in Iran goes back to the early centuries of Islam. By the 20th century, however, the system had become antiquated and was remodeled along French lines. The country's 16 universities were closed after the 1979 revolution and were then reopened gradually between 1982 and 1983 under Islamic supervision. While the universities were closed, the Cultural Revolution Committee investigated professors and teachers and dismissed those who were believers in Marxism, liberalism, and other "imperialistic" ideologies. The universities reopened with Islamic curricula. In 1997, all higher-level institutions had 40,477 teachers and enrolled 579,070 students. The University of Tehran (founded in 1934) has 10 faculties, including a department of Islamic theology. Other major universities are at Tabriz, Mashhad, Ahvaz, Shiraz, Esfahan, Kerman, Babol Sar, Rasht, and Orumiyeh. There are about 50 colleges and 40 technological institutes. [edit] Schools for Gifted Children The National Organization for Development of Exceptional Talents (NODET), also known as SAMPAD (‫ ,)سمپاد‬maintains Middle and High Schools in Iran. These schools were shut down for a few years after the revolution, but later re-opened. Admittance is based on an entrance examination, and is very competitive, especially in Tehran.Their tuition is similar to private schools, but may be partially or fully waived off depending on the students financial condition. Some nodet alumni are world leading scientists. [edit] Organization for Educational Research and Planning (OERP) OERP is a government affiliated, scientific, learning organization. It has qualitative and knowledge-based curricula consistent with the scientific and research findings, technological, national identity, Islamic and cultural values.

OERP's Responsibilities: 1. To research on the content of the educational, 2. To study and develop simple methods for examinations and educational assessments, 3. To write, edit and print text-books, 4. To identify and provide educational tools and the list of standards for educational tools and equipments, 5. To run pure research on improving the quality and quantity of education, 6. To perform other responsibilities issued by the OERP Council. [edit] Prominent high schools in Iran: historical and current

Tabriz Memorial High School Diploma. Dated: June 1 1923 Please help improve this section by expanding it. Further information might be found on the talk page. (June 2008)
• • • • • • • • • • • • •

Alborz High School Allameh Helli High Schools (Nodet) Bagherol Oloom High School Farzanegan High Schools (Nodet) Energy Atomi High School (OTN) Salam High Schools (OTN) Firouz Bahram High School Hadaf No.3 High School Nikan High School Imam Mousa Sadr High School Razi High School Allameh Tabatabaei High School Daneshmand High School

[edit] Statistics

• •

According to the CIA World Factbook, from information collected in 2003, 85.6% of males and 73% of females over the age of 15 are literate, thus 79.4% of the population is literate. Literacy training has been a prime concern in Iran. For the year 2000, adult illiteracy rates were estimated at 23.1% (males, 16.3%; females, 30.0%). A literacy corps was established in 1963 to send educated conscripts to villages. During its first 10 years, the corps helped 2.2 million urban children and 600,000 adults become literate. This corps was shut down with the Islamic Revolution. In 1997, there were 9,238,393 pupils enrolled in 63,101 primary schools, with 298,755 teachers. The student-to-teacher ratio stood at 31 to 1. In that same year, secondary schools had 8,776,792 students and 280,309 teachers. The pupilteacher ratio at the primary level was 26 to 1 in 1999. In the same year, 83% of primary-school-age children were enrolled in school. As of 1999, public expenditure on education was estimated at 4.6% of GDP (not budget). In 2007, a majority of students enrolled in Iranian universities were women.

Higher education in Iran From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search

University of Tehran College of Humanities

University of Tabriz Iran has a large network of private, public, and state affiliated universities offering degrees in higher education. State-run universities of Iran are under the direct supervision of Iran's Ministry of Science, Research and Technology (for non-medical universities) and Ministry of Health and Medical Education (for medical schools). Contents [hide]

• • • • •

1 History o 1.1 Pre-Islamic era o 1.2 Islamic era o 1.3 Modern o 1.4 Exclusion of Students 2 Academic system of Iranian universities o 2.1 Rankings  2.1.1 Ranking by number of publications  2.1.2 Ranking of Medical Schools  2.1.3 Ranking of Dental Schools  2.1.4 Ranking of Pharmacy Schools  2.1.5 Ranking by Webometrics o 2.2 List of Iranian universities 3 Iran's Brain Drain problem 4 Prominent libraries in Iran 5 References 6 See also 7 External links o 7.1 Official

7.2 Other

[edit] History [edit] Pre-Islamic era See also: Academy of Gundishapur The existence of pre-Islamic era universities such as the School of Nisibis, Sarouyeh, Reishahr, and The Academy of Gundishapur provide examples of precedence of academic institutions of science that date back to ancient times. [edit] Islamic era See also: Hawza and Nizamiyya The traditions and heritage of these centers of higher learning were later carried on to renowned schools such as Iran's Nizamiyya, and Baghdad's House of Wisdom, during the Islamic era.

An academic library in Basrah[1] depicted in the 13th century by Yahya ibn Vaseti (‫يحيی بن‬ ‫ ,)واسطی‬found in the Maqama of Hariri (‫.)مقامات حريری‬ [edit] Modern It was Abbas Mirza who first dispatched Iranian students to Europe for a western education.[2] The history of the establishment of western style academic universities in Iran (Persia) dates back to 1851 with the establishment of Darolfonoon – which was founded as a result of the efforts of the royal vizier Mirza Taghi Khan Amir Kabir, aimed at training and teaching Iranian experts in many fields of science and technology. In 1855 "The Ministry of Science" was first established, and Ali Gholi Mirza I'tizad alsaltaneh (‫ )عليقلی ميرزا اعتضاد السلطنه‬was appointed Iran's first Minister of Science by Nasereddin Shah.

By the 1890s Darolfonoon was competing with other prominent institutions of modern learning. The Military College of Tehran (Madraseh-ye Nezam), established in 1885 with a budget of 10,000-12,000 tomans, was its first rival; and in 1899 the College of political sciences (Madraseh-ye olum-e siyasi) was organized within the Foreign ministry.[3] The Ministry of Higher Education, which oversees the operation of all institutes of higher education in Iran, was established in 1967. However, it was back in 1928 that Iran's first university, as we know it today, was proposed by an Iranian physicist, Mahmoud Hessaby. The University of Tehran (or Tehran University) was designed by French architect Andre Godard, and built in 1934. Today, Tehran University is Iran's largest university with over 32,000 students. In the medical field, it was Joseph Cochran who first founded a professional school in Iran in 1878, and who is often credited for founding Iran’s "first contemporary medical college" [4], as well as founding one of Iran's first modern hospitals ("Westminster Hospital") in Urmia. The medical faculty Cochran established at Urmia University was joined by several other Americans, namely Drs. Wright, Homlz, van Nourdon, and Miller. They were all buried in Urmia as their resting place after serving the area for many years. In Tehran, Samuel M. Jordan, whom "Jordan Ave." in Tehran is named after, also was directly responsible for the expansion of the American College in Tehran. The school received a permanent charter from the Board of Regents of the State University of New York in 1932.[5]

McCormick Hall, American College of Tehran, circa 1930.

Video about the University of Tehran. By the end of the first Pahlavi period, University of Tehran was still the only modern university in the country. Hence, the Ministry of Science commenced the establishment of other universities in Isfahan, Tabriz, Ahvaz, and Shiraz, with special emphasis given to

the medical and veterinary sciences. [6] Dr. Charles Oberling was highly instrumental in this regard.[7] The Shah soon initiated projects to build Iranian universities modeled after American schools. Thus Pahlavi University (Shiraz University today), Sharif University of Technology, and Isfahan University of Technology, three of Iran's top academic universities were all directly modeled on American institutions such as the University of Illinois at Chicago, MIT, and the University of Pennsylvania.[8][9] The Shah in return was generous in awarding American universities with financial gifts. For example, the University of Southern California received a gift from the Shah in the form of an endowed chair of petroleum engineering, and a million dollar donation was given to the George Washington University to create an Iranian Studies program.[8] The 1979 revolution put an end to the massive US-Iran academic relations. In 1980, a major overhaul in the academia and higher education system of Iran initiated by Ayatollah Khomeini led to what is referred to in Iran as "Iran's Cultural Revolution". In 1986, the Ministry of Higher Education handed over supervision and overseeing of education in the medical sciences in Iran to the Ministry of Health, Treatment and Medical Education. This was to optimize use of the medical resources in the country, and to promote health, treatment, teaching, and research more efficiently in the field. After the Iran–Iraq War, some new universities were founded and doctoral programs were developed in the previous universities. The number of university students is now more than six times as many as in 1979 (when Shah was overthrown), so that critics debate whether the national entrance exam is useful anymore or not. Iran's educational system comprises many schools and universities scattered throughout the country. Pre University Education in Iran: Primary school (Dabestan) starts at the age of 6 for a duration of 5 years. Middle school, also known as orientation cycle (Rahnamayi), goes from the sixth to the eighth grade. High school (Dabirestan), for which the last three years is not mandatory, is divided between theoretical, vocational/technical and manual, each program with its own specialties. Universities, institutes of technology, medical schools and community colleges, provide the higher education. The requirement to enter into higher education is to have a High school diploma, and finally pass the national University entrance's exam. Higher education is sanctioned by different levels of diplomas: Fogh-Diplom or Kardani (equivalent to a Baccalaureate in technical engineering) after 2 years of higher education, Karshenasi (also known under the name “licence”) is delivered after 4 years of higher education (Bachelor's degree). Fogh Licence is delivered after 2 more years of study (Master's degree). After which, another exam allows the candidate to pursue a doctoral program (PhD). [edit] Exclusion of Students Students of minority religions have been barred from entering tertiary education institutions in Iran particularly those of the Baha'i Faith[10]. Since the Iranian Revolution

of 1979 Baha'i students have been excluded from universities regardless of their national university examination results on basis of their religion. [edit] Academic system of Iranian universities

Tehran University of Medical Sciences' Tehran Heart Center. In 2008, Iran had over 3.5 million students enrolled in universities.[11] Some 1.7 million in various programs in Islamic Azad university and the remainder in State universities. In addition the new enrollment numbers for the academic year 2004 were 290 thousand in Azad universities, and 250 thousand in State universities. Iran currently has 54 state operated universities, and 42 state medical schools. These are primarily the top choice for students in national entrance exams, and have the largest and most prestigious programs. There are 289 major private universities operating as well.[12] In addition there is over 40,000 students engaged in Masters programs and 20,000 students in PHD programs In all these schools, except for private universities such as the Islamic Azad University system, tuition and room and board, is mostly paid for by the government. The universities themselves largely operate on state budgets. There are also institutes like Payame Noor University that offer degrees remotely or online. Some schools offer degrees in conjunction with European Universities. The International University of Chabahar for example offers programs under the guidance of London School of Economics and Political Science Goldsmiths University of London, and Royal Holloway.[13] Other schools such as the Institute for Advanced Studies in Basic Sciences in Zanjan, have close collaboration with The International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy for workshops, seminars, and summer schools. The Iranian government also offers intensely competitive but fully paid scholarships for successful applicants to pursue PhD level studies in Great Britain. Iran allocates around 0.4% of its GDP to R&D, which ranks it "far behind industrialized societies".[14] [edit] Rankings University of Tehran, Sharif University of Technology, Iran University of Science and Technology, Amirkabir University of Technology, (Tehran Polytechnic), K.N.Toosi University of Technology,Tarbiat Modares University, Shahid Beheshti University,

Allameh Tabatabaee University, Shiraz University, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Isfahan University of Technology, University of Isfahan, and Tabriz University are generally cited as the most prestigious schools of Iran frequently. Among these universities, Tarbiat Modares University is the sole only-graduate-level university: it does not offer any undergraduate degree. Almost none of these universities however are mentioned (or perhaps not evaluated) in the 2007 Academic Ranking of World Universities (link), nor in the The Times Higher Education Supplement.[6] Sharif University of Technology and University of Tehran are the only Iranian universities that appear in the THES world ranking for 2008. The universities ranked above 400 are listed alphabetically in this list, thus the exact ranks of these two universities are unavailable.[15][16][17] Iranian authorities however ignore such rankings, and claim that, according to Chancellor of Tehran University, "Iran is third in Science and Technology in Asia after Japan and Turkey".[18] Critics further claim that for the case of Iran, rankings such as SJT and THES fail to provide an accurate image when assessing Iran's institutions of higher education, since graduates from these universities routinely are well prepared and end up matriculating into the competitive elite graduate schools of Europe and the United States in comparatively large numbers. [edit] Ranking by number of publications

University of Tehran faculty of Fine Arts In terms of the number of papers published via Institute for Scientific Information (ISI), the 2007 ranking of medical and non-medical universities of Iran is as follows[19][20][21]: Ranking by number of publications University Province Papers published[22]

University of Tehran



Tarbiat Modarres University



Sharif University of Technology



Azad University

all campuses


Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences



Tehran University of Medical Sciences



Amirkabir University of Technology (Tehran Polytechnic)



Iran University of Science and Technology



Shiraz University of Medical Sciences



Isfahan University of Technology



Ferdowsi University of Mashad



with the most number of papers published in the following fields by order[23]: 1. 2. 3. 4. Chemistry Medicine Engineering Physics

[edit] Ranking of Medical Schools In one study in the medical fields published in January of 2001, Tehran University of Medical Sciences ranked first in Iran in terms of the number of ISI and Medline publications, followed by Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, with Shahid Beheshti

University of Medical Sciences and Isfahan University of Medical Sciences following next.[14] The most recent list of the highest top ranked universities in the medical field is:[24] 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Tehran University of Medical Sciences Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences(Former National University) Iran University of Medical Sciences Isfahan University of Medical Sciences Mashad University of Medical Sciences Shiraz University of Medical Sciences

[edit] Ranking of Dental Schools According to the 2007 rankings[25] the top 5 rated schools in the dental field in Iran are: 1. Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences 2. Tehran University of Medical Sciences and Mashad University of Medical Sciences 3. Isfahan University of Medical Sciences 4. Kerman University of Medical Sciences and Yazd University of Medical Sciences and Hamedan University of Medical Sciences 5. Ahvaz University of Medical Sciences and Shiraz University of Medical Sciences and Babol University of Medical Sciences [edit] Ranking of Pharmacy Schools According to the 2007 rankings[26] the top 3 rated schools in the pharmaceutical field in Iran are: 1. Tehran University of Medical Sciences 2. Isfahan University of Medical Sciences 3. Tabriz University of Medical Sciences [edit] Ranking by Webometrics The latest webometrics data reveal Iran's top school Tehran University to be ranked second in the Middle East[27] but ranked at number 1083 worldwide.[28] The list of top 5 Iranian universities by webometric counts are: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. University of Tehran Sharif University Isfahan University of Medical Sciences Shiraz University Iran University of Science and Technology

[edit] List of Iranian universities Main article: List of universities in Iran ' [edit] Iran's Brain Drain problem Main article: Iran's brain drain Iran tops the world countries in the brain drain phenomenon. The CIA estimates that 89.4% of Iran's population aged 15 and over can read and write. A significant majority of this population is at or approaching collegiate levels. Of this population, nearly 150,000 are estimated to exit Iran every year. [edit] Prominent libraries in Iran Large libraries existed in Iran both before and after the advent of Islam and throughout many periods in Iran's history. One can mention the libraries at Gondeshapur, School of Nisibis, and Sarouyeh during the pre-Islamic era of Iran. During the Middle Ages, many schools of Nizamiyya harbored large collections of manuscripts and treatises. In Maragheh, Nasīr al-Dīn al-Tūsī built a library that reportedly contained some 40,000 volumes which was well financed[29]. And the royal library of the Samanid court in which Avicenna was granted special access to, is yet another fine example.[30] The first prototype of a modern national library in Iran was the Library of Dar al-Funun College established in 1851. In 1899 another library called the Nation's Library was inaugurated in Tehran. Finally, the National Library of Iran was inaugurated in 1937. Iran's major national libraries today are:
• • • • • • •

National Library of Iran, Tehran Central Library of Astan Quds Razavi, Mashad Tabriz National Library, Tabriz Malek National Library, Tehran Ayatollah Marashi Najafi Library, Qom Iran's Library of The Parliament Shiraz Regional Library of Science and Technology, Shiraz

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