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The Iran Portal

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به درگاه سرزمین ایران خوش آمدید
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Iran, (Persian: ايران‎, Īrān; pronunciation: [iːˈɾɒn]), officially the Islamic Republic of Iran (Persian: جمهوری اسلامی ايران‎, transliteration: Jomhūrī-ye Eslāmī-ye Īrān), formerly known internationally as Persia, is a country in Western Asia. The 18th largest country in the world, Iran is approximately the size of the United Kingdom, France, Spain, and Germany combined and has a population of over 82 million people. Iran borders Armenia, Azerbaijan, to the north-west, Russia and Kazakhstan through the Caspian Sea to the north, Turkmenistan to the north-east, Afghanistan and Pakistan to the east, and Turkey and Iraq to the west. In addition, it borders the Persian Gulf, an important oil-producing area, and the Caspian sea. Shi'a Islam is the official state religion and Persian the official language. The political system of Iran comprises several intricately connected governing bodies and is based on the 1979 Constitution. The highest state authority is the Supreme Leader, currently served by Ali Khamenei.

Iran has one of the oldest histories in the world, extending more than 5000 years, and throughout history, Iran has been of geostrategic importance because of its central location in Eurasia and Western Asia. Iran is a founding member of the UN, NAM, OIC, OPEC, and ECO. Iran as a major regional power occupies an important position in the world economy due to its substantial reserves of petroleum and natural gas, and has considerable regional influence in Western Asia. The name Iran is a cognate of Aryan and literally means "Land of the Aryans."

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From one of the lowest energy intensity users in the world in 1980, Iran has become one of the major consumers of energy with very high energy intensity.

The Iranian targeted subsidy plan (Persian: طرح هدفمندسازی یارانه‌ها‎) also known as the subsidy reform plan was passed by the Iranian Parliament on January 5, 2010. The government has described the subsidy plan as the "biggest surgery" to the nation's economy in half a century and "one of the most important undertakings in Iran's recent economic history". The goal of the subsidy reform plan is to replace subsidies on food and energy (80% of total) with targeted social assistance, in accordance with Five Year Economic Development Plan and move towards free market prices in a 5-year period. The subsidy reform plan is the most important part of a broader Iranian economic reform plan. According to the government, approximately $100 billion per year is spent on subsidizing energy prices ($45 billion for the prices of fuel alone) and many consumable goods including bread, sugar, rice, cooking oil and medicine. However, some experts believe direct subsidies are about $30 billion, depending on oil prices. The subsidy system has been inherited from the Iran-Iraq war era but was never abolished. Iran is one of the largest gasoline consumers in the world, ranking second behind the United States in consumption per car. The government subsidy reform has been years in the making for various reasons. Iran's Supreme Leader has backed the government's latest subsidy reform plan.

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Reproduction of drawing on a pottery vessel found in Shahr-e Sookhteh
Credit: Emesik

Five images sequence from a vase animation found in Shahr-e Sukhteh, Iran.

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Artaxerxes III of Persia (c. 425 BC – 338 BC) (Persian: اردشير سوم‎) (Old Persian: 𐎠𐎼𐎫𐎧𐏁𐏂𐎠,transliterated as Artaxšaçā), was the Great King (Shah) of Persia and the eleventh Emperor of the Achaemenid Empire, as well as the first Pharaoh of the 31st dynasty of Egypt. He was the son and successor of Artaxerxes II and was succeeded by his son, Arses of Persia (also known as Artaxerxes IV). His reign coincided with the reign of Philip II in Macedon and Nectanebo II in Egypt. Before ascending the throne Artaxerxes was a satrap and commander of his father's army. Artaxerxes came to power after one of his brothers was executed, another committed suicide, the last murdered and his father, Artaxerxes II died at the age of 86. Soon after becoming king, Artaxerxes murdered all of the royal family to secure his place as emperor. He started two major campaigns against Egypt. The first campaign failed, and was followed up by rebellions throughout the western empire. In 343 BC, Artaxerxes defeated Nectanebo II, the Pharaoh of Egypt, driving him from Egypt, stopping a revolt in Phoenicia on the way. In Artaxerxes' later years, Philip II of Macedon's power was increasing in Greece, where he tried to convince the Greeks to revolt against Achaemenid Persia. His activities were opposed by Artaxerxes, and with his support, the city of Perinthus resisted a Macedonian siege. There is evidence for a renewed building policy at Persepolis in his later life, where Artaxerxes erected a new palace and built his own tomb, and began long-term projects like the Unfinished Gate. According to a Greek source, Diodorus of Sicily, Bagoas poisoned Artaxerxes, but a cuneiform tablet (now in the British Museum) suggests that the king died from natural causes.

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Mohammad Khatami
I come from the noble land of Iran, representing a great and renowned nation, famous for its age old civilization as well as its distinguished contribution to the founding and expansion of the Islamic civilization; a nation that has survived the strong winds of despotism, reactionism and submission, relying on its cultural and human wealth; a nation which pioneered in the East the establishment of civil society and constitutional government in the course of its contemporary history, even though as a result of foreign interference and domestic deficiencies, at times it may have faltered in its course; a nation which has been at the forefront of the struggle for independence and against colonialism, though its national movement was subverted by a foreign- orchestrated coup. And, a nation which carries the torch of its popular revolution, not won by force of arms or a coup, but by dethroning of the regime of coup d'etat through the power of "word" and "enlightenment". In the course of its new experience, our nation has endured eight years of an imposed war, pressure, sanctions and various allegations. It has also fallen victim to terrorism, this ominous and sinister phenomenon of the twentieth century.
Mohammad Khatami, President of Iran, (1997-2005)

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