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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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The Iran–Contra affair (Persian: ایران-کنترا‎‎, Spanish: caso Irán-contras), also referred to as Irangate, Contragate or the Iran-Contra scandal, was a political scandal in the United States that came to light in November 1986. During the Reagan administration, senior Reagan administration officials secretly facilitated the sale of arms to Iran, the subject of an arms embargo. Some U.S. officials also hoped that the arms sales would secure the release of hostages and allow U.S. intelligence agencies to fund the Nicaraguan Contras. Under the Boland Amendment, further funding of the Contras by the government had been prohibited by Congress. The scandal began as an operation to free seven American hostages being held by a group with Iranian ties connected to the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution. It was planned that Israel would ship weapons to Iran, and then the U.S. would resupply Israel and receive the Israeli payment. The Iranian recipients promised to do everything in their power to achieve the release of the U.S. hostages. The plan deteriorated into an arms-for-hostages scheme, in which members of the executive branch sold weapons to Iran in exchange for the release of the American hostages. Large modifications to the plan were devised by Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North of the National Security Council in late 1985, in which a portion of the proceeds from the weapon sales was diverted to fund anti-Sandinista and anti-communist rebels, or Contras, in Nicaragua. While President Ronald Reagan was a supporter of the Contra cause, no conclusive evidence has been found showing that he authorized the diversion of the money raised by the Iranian arms sales to the Contras. Several investigations ensued, including those by the United States Congress and the three-man, Reagan-appointed Tower Commission. Neither found any evidence that President Reagan himself knew of the extent of the multiple programs. The rest of those indicted or convicted were all pardoned in the final days of the presidency of George H. W. Bush, who had been vice-president at the time of the affair.

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Saint Thaddeus Monastery
Credit: Zereshk

The Saint Thaddeus Monastery, also known as Kara Kilise, is an ancient Armenian monastery located in the mountainous area of Iran's West Azarbaijan Province, about 20 km from the town of Maku. In July 2008, the St. Thaddeus Monastery was added to UNESCO's World Heritage List, along with the St. Stepanos monastery and the chapel of Dzordzor as a part of The Armenian Monastic Ensemble in Iran.

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Abbas Kiarostami
Abbas Kiarostami (born 1940) is an internationally acclaimed Iranian film director, screenwriter, photographer and film producer. An active filmmaker since 1970, Kiarostami has 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
  • 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
  • November 12: Iran agrees to expanded monitoring of nuclear sites

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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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