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Portal:Iran

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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 75 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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Parthian cataphract fighting a lion.

The Parthian Empire was a major Iranian political and cultural power in the Ancient Near East. It was founded in the mid-3rd century BC by Arsaces I. Mithradates I greatly expanded the empire by seizing Media and Mesopotamia from the Seleucids. At its height, the Parthian Empire stretched from the northern reaches of the Euphrates, in what is now Kurdistan, to eastern Iran. The empire, located on the Silk Road trade route between the Roman Empire in the Mediterranean Basin and the Han Dynasty in China, quickly became a center of trade and commerce. The Parthians largely adopted the art, architecture, religious beliefs, and royal insignia of their culturally heterogeneous empire, which encompassed Persian, Hellenistic, and regional cultures. As the Empire expanded westward, they came into conflict with the late Roman Republic. The Parthians captured most of the Levant, but their holdings in Mesopotamia were invaded in turn several times during the Roman–Parthian Wars. Frequent civil war between Parthian contenders to the throne proved more dangerous than foreign invasion, and Parthian power evaporated when Ardashir I, ruler of Estakhr in Fars, revolted against the Arsacids and killed their last ruler, Artabanus IV, in 224 AD.

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Ancient bracelet, Achaemenid period
Credit: Shauni

Ancient bracelet, Achaemenid period, part of Oxus Treasure, 500 BCE, Iran

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Abbas Kiarostami
Abbas Kiarostami (1940–2016) was an internationally acclaimed Iranian film director, screenwriter, photographer and film producer. An active filmmaker since 1970, Kiarostami had been involved in over forty films, including shorts and documentaries. Kiarostami attained critical acclaim for directing the Koker Trilogy (1987–94), Taste of Cherry (1997), and The Wind Will Carry Us (1999). Kiarostami has worked extensively as a screenwriter, film editor, art director and producer and has designed credit titles and publicity material. He is also a poet, photographer, painter, illustrator, and graphic designer. Kiarostami is part of a generation of filmmakers in the Iranian New Wave, a Persian cinema movement that started in the late 1960s and includes pioneering directors such as Forough Farrokhzad, Sohrab Shahid Saless, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Bahram Beizai, and Parviz Kimiavi. These filmmakers share many common techniques including the use of poetic dialogue and allegorical storytelling dealing with political and philosophical issues. Kiarostami has a reputation for using child protagonists, for documentary style narrative films, for stories that take place in rural villages, and for conversations that unfold inside cars, using stationary mounted cameras.

In the news

Wikinews Iran portal
  • October 21: United States judges block third version of President Trump's travel ban
  • January 9: Former Irani president Rafsanjani dies, aged 82
  • December 29: Around 7,100 cheetahs remain, say experts
  • October 4: Argentina wins maiden FIFA Futsal World Cup
  • June 1: Kerry hospitalized after cycling accident
  • June 29: Medal-seeking Spanish men arrive at 2014 Goalball World Championships
  • November 25: Iran to reduce nuclear enrichment in exchange for sanctions reduction
  • November 13: ONCE defeats Getafe 86-36 in Spain's top level wheelchair basketball league

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Marjane Satrapi
Our country was very rich and Iranians were considered rich, educated people. You had a real intellectual elite in Iran then.
Marjane Satrapi, renowned novelist and film director.
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