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The Iran Portal

Welcome to Iran's Portal
به درگاه سرزمین ایران خوش آمدید
The Coat of arms of Iran.

Emblem of Iran
Iran's map

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."

Selected article

Tehran Stock Exchange's main index (1999–2011).

The Tehran Stock Exchange is Iran's largest stock exchange, which first opened in 1967. The TSE is based in Tehran. As of May 2012, 339 companies with a combined market capitalization of US$104.21 billion were listed on TSE. TSE, which is a founding member of the Federation of Euro-Asian Stock Exchanges, has been one of the world's best performing stock exchanges in the years 2002 through 2011. TSE is an emerging or "frontier" market. The most important advantage that Iran's capital market has in comparison with other regional markets is that there are 37 industries directly involved in it. Industries such as the automotive, telecommunications, agriculture, petrochemical, mining, steel iron, copper, banking and insurance, financial mediation and others trade shares at the stock market, which makes it unique in the Middle East. The second advantage is that most of the state-owned firms are being privatized under the general policies of article 44 in the Iranian constitution. Iran is among the few major economies that has maintained positive economic growth despite the 2008 global financial crisis and international sanctions.

Selected picture

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.

In this month

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Flag of Iran.svg You are invited to participate in WikiProject Iran, a WikiProject dedicated to developing and improving articles about Iran.
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Selected biography

Relief of Darius I at his tomb in Naqsh-e Rostam, Iran.
Darius I (Persian: داريوش بزرگ‎, Old Persian: Dārayava(h)uš; 550–486 BCE) was the third king of the Achaemenid Empire. Also called Darius the Great, he ruled the empire at its peak, when it included much of West Asia, the Caucasus, Central Asia, parts of the Balkans (Bulgaria-Romania-Panonia), portions of north and northeast Africa including Egypt (Mudrâya), eastern Libya, coastal Sudan, Eritrea, as well as most of Pakistan, the Aegean Islands and northern Greece/Thrace-Macedonia. Darius ascended the throne by overthrowing the alleged magus usurper of Bardiya with the assistance of six other Persian noble families; Darius was crowned the following morning. The new king met with rebellions throughout his kingdom and quelled them each time. A major event in Darius's life was his expedition to punish Athens and Eretria for their aid in the Ionian Revolt and subjugate Greece. Darius expanded his empire by conquering Thrace and Macedon and invading Scythia, home of the Scythians, nomadic tribes who invaded Media and had previously killed Cyrus the Great. Darius organized the empire by dividing it into provinces and placing satraps to govern it. He organized a new uniform monetary system, along with making Aramaic the official language of the empire. Darius also worked on construction projects throughout the empire, focusing on Susa, Pasargadae, Persepolis, Babylon and Egypt. Darius devised a codification of laws for Egypt. He also had the cliff-face Behistun Inscription carved, an autobiography of great modern linguistic significance. Darius also started many massive architectural projects, including magnificent palaces in Persepolis and Susa.

In the news

Did you know...

Did you know?


  • ...that during the Shiraz blood libel, the first to start the pogrom of the Jewish quarter were the soldiers sent to protect the Jews against mob violence?


  • ...that, in connection with the 7th-century Turkic conquest of Aghvania, the invaders were reported "to suck the children's blood like milk"?




Selected quote

Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi in 1973
Foreign travellers in Iran, not only recently but in previous generations, have observed that some of our citizens habitually lie ... In our culture, steeped in history as we are, some liars actually try to explain and justify their behaviour by referring back to past national catastrophes. For example, they will tell you, when Mongol hordes overran the country, lying was the price to pay for personal survival ; and that gave us the habit of mendacity. Whatever its merits as an historical explanation, this point of view certainly offers a pitifully weak justification for today's liars.

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