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The Iran Portal

Welcome to Iran's Portal

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. The greater part of Iran is situated on the Iranian plateau. 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

A saffron crocus flower with red stigmas

Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of the saffron crocus, a species of crocus in the family Iridaceae. The flower has three stigmas, which are the distal ends of the plant's carpels. Together with its style, the stalk connecting the stigmas to the rest of the plant, these components are often dried and used in cooking as a seasoning and colouring agent. Saffron, which has for decades been the world's most expensive spice by weight, was first cultivated in the vicinity of Greece. Saffron is characterised by a bitter taste and an iodoform- or hay-like fragrance; these are caused by the chemicals picrocrocin and safranal. It also contains a carotenoid dye, crocin, that gives food a rich golden-yellow hue. These qualities make saffron a much sought-after ingredient in many foods worldwide. Saffron also has medicinal applications. The word saffron originated from the 12th century Old French term safran, which derives from the Latin word safranum.

Selected picture

Satellite image of Iran in January 2004.
Credit: NASA

Satellite image of Iran in January 2004.

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Selected biography

Relief of Darius I at his tomb in Naqsh-e Rostam, Iran.
Darius I (Persian: ?‎, Old Persian: D?rayava(h)u?; 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

Wikinews Iran portal
Read and edit Wikinews
10 September 2021 - Iran-PJAK conflict
Iranian IRGC Ground Forces strike "terrorist positions" in northern Iraq with suicide and combat drones as well as precision-guided artillery. (Tehran Times) (Iran International)
7 September 2021 -
The Supreme Court of Cape Verde approves the extradition of Alex Saab to the United States for alleged money laundering on behalf of the Venezuelan government. Saab was arrested in Cape Verde in June 2020, when his plane stopped there for refuelling while flying to Iran. (Reuters)
4 September 2021 - Iran-United States relations
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi announces that the country is ready to resume nuclear talks and to revive the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Raisi also called on the U.S. to lift its sanctions against Iran. (Middle East Eye) (VOA)
1 September 2021 - COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic in Iran
Iran surpasses five million cases of COVID-19 after reporting 33,170 new cases in the past 24 hours. (Trend News)
26 August 2021 - Foreign relations of Argentina, Foreign relations of Iran
Argentina condemns "energetically" the designation of Mohsen Rezai in a ministerial rank in the government of Ebrahim Raisi in Iran. Yesterday, Argentina had renewed its condemnation of the designation of Ahmad Vahidi as minister of the interior. Both men are wanted by Argentina and Interpol over alleged connections with the 1994 AMIA bombing. The Foreign Ministry condemns Iran for its "affront to Argentine justice". (Notimérica)

Did you know...

Did you know?

  • ...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

Where are your valiant warriors and your priests? Where are your hunting parties and your feasts? Where is that warlike mien, and where are those? Great armies that destroyed our country's foes? . . . Count Iran as a ruin, as the lair of lions and leopards! Look now and despair!


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