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The Iran Portal

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Iran, (Persian: ‎, ?r?n; pronunciation: [i:'n]), officially the Islamic Republic of Iran (Persian: ‎, transliteration: Jomh?r?-ye Esl?m?-ye ?r?n), 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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The Iranian Embassy, severely damaged by fire following the end of the siege

The Iranian Embassy siege took place from 30 April to 5 May 1980, after a group of six armed men stormed the Iranian embassy in South Kensington, London. The gunmen took 26 people hostage--mostly embassy staff, but several visitors and a police officer, who had been guarding the embassy, were also held. The hostage-takers, members of a group campaigning for the autonomy of Iran's Kh?zest?n Province, demanded the release of Arab prisoners from jails in Kh?zest?n and their own safe passage out of the United Kingdom. By the sixth day of the siege the gunmen had become increasingly frustrated at the lack of progress in meeting their demands. As a result, the British government ordered the Special Air Service (SAS), a special forces regiment of the British Army, to conduct an assault to rescue the remaining hostages. Shortly afterwards, soldiers abseiled from the roof of the building and forced entry through the windows. It was not until 1993 that 16 Princes Gate, having suffered major damage from a fire that broke out during the assault, was re-opened as the Iranian embassy.

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Satellite image of Iran in January 2004.
Credit: NASA

Satellite image of Iran in January 2004.

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Selected biography

Razi was the preeminent pharmacist and physician of his time.
Abu Bakr Mohammad Ibn Zakariya al-Razi was a versatile Islamic philosopher who made fundamental and lasting contributions to the fields of medicine, chemistry (alchemy) and philosophy. He is credited with, among other things, the discovery of sulfuric acid, the "work horse" of modern chemistry and chemical engineering; and also of alcohol and its use in medicine. Razi was a prolific writer, having produced 184 books and articles, in several fields of science. According to historian Ibn an-Nadim, Razi distinguished himself as the best physician of his time who had fully absorbed Greek medical learning. As a medical educator, he attracted many students of all levels.

In the news

Wikinews Iran portal
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18 October 2019 - 2019 Persian Gulf crisis
Japan says it will not join the U.S.-led International Maritime Security Construct to protect international shipping in the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz amid Iranian aggression, but will instead deploy its own Maritime Self-Defense Force to the region to guard merchant vessels "related to Japan". (Reuters)
14 October 2019 -
The IRGC say they captured Ruhollah Zam, an Iranian journalist-activist exiled in Europe, accusing him of having stoked anti-government unrest in early 2018 using social media. (Reuters)
11 October 2019 - 2019 Persian Gulf crisis, Iran-Saudi Arabia proxy conflict
The Pentagon announces the deployment of 1,000 to 3,000 U.S. troops to Saudi Arabia to deter Iranian aggression. (CNN) (ABC News)
Iran claims one of its oil tankers was hit in the Red Sea, likely by missiles. The Saudi Ports Authority confirms an incident with a tanker near the port of Jeddah overnight. (Reuters)
11 October 2019 -
One Dutch person and two Afghans are remanded in custody for manslaughter and assistance to illegal immigrants staying in France, after they sold places in inflatable boats for them to reach Great Britain, causing the death of an Iranian woman on 9 August. (La Voix du Nord)
10 October 2019 - Women's rights in Iran, 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification - AFC Second Round
In a men's football match attended by women supporters for the first time in decades, Iran beats Cambodia 14-0. (Al Jazeera)

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Noam Chomsky
We like to forget the history, Iranians don't. In 1953, The United States and Britain overthrew the parliamentary government [in Iran] and installed a brutal dictator. [...] In 1979, the population overthrew the dictator. And since then the United States has been essentially torturing Iran: First tried the military coup and then supported Saddam Hussein during Iraq's invasion of Iran which killed hundreds of thousands of people and after that United States started imposing harsh sanctions on Iran.


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  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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