Known as Persia until 1935, Iran became
an Islamic republic in 1979 after the ruling monarchy was overthrown and
Shah Mohammad Reza PAHLAVI was forced into exile. Conservative clerical
forces established a theocratic system of government with ultimate political
authority vested in a learned religious scholar referred to commonly as the
Supreme Leader who, according to the constitution, is accountable only to
the Assembly of Experts - a popularly elected 86-member body of clerics.
US-Iranian relations have been strained since a group of Iranian students
seized the US Embassy in Tehran on 4 November 1979 and held it until 20
January 1981. During 1980-88, Iran fought a bloody, indecisive war with Iraq
that eventually expanded into the Persian Gulf and led to clashes between US
Navy and Iranian military forces between 1987 and 1988. Iran has been
designated a state sponsor of terrorism for its activities in Lebanon and
elsewhere in the world and remains subject to US, UN, and EU economic
sanctions and export controls because of its continued involvement in
terrorism and its nuclear weapons ambitions. Following the election of
reformer Hojjat ol-Eslam Mohammad KHATAMI as president in 1997 and a
reformist Majles (legislature) in 2000, a campaign to foster political
reform in response to popular dissatisfaction was initiated. The movement
floundered as conservative politicians, through the control of unelected
institutions, prevented reform measures from being enacted and increased
repressive measures. Starting with nationwide municipal elections in 2003
and continuing through Majles elections in 2004, conservatives reestablished
control over Iran's elected government institutions, which culminated with
the August 2005 inauguration of hardliner Mahmud AHMADI-NEJAD as president.
His controversial reelection in June 2009 sparked nationwide protests over
allegations of electoral fraud. The UN Security Council has passed a number
of resolutions (1696 in July 2006, 1737 in December 2006, 1747 in March
2007, 1803 in March 2008, and 1835 in September 2008) calling for Iran to
suspend its uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities and comply with
its IAEA obligations and responsibilities. Resolutions 1737, 1477, and 1803
subject a number of Iranian individuals and entities involved in Iran's
nuclear and ballistic missile programs to sanctions. Additionally, several
Iranian entities are subject to US sanctions under Executive Order 13382
designations for proliferation activities and EO 13224 designations for
support of terrorism.
A Middle Eastern country south
of the Caspian Sea and north of the Persian Gulf, Iran is three times the
size of Arizona. It shares borders with Iraq, Turkey, Azerbaijan,
Turkmenistan, Armenia, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.........
Iranian climate has diverse
conditions due to various reasons .Although Iran is situated in the northern
temperate zone the direction of its mountains, it being adjacent to the hot
and arid Saudi Arabian deserts, and its distance from the seas is the most
important reasons behind Iran's diverse climatic conditions............
With a proud and long-standing civilization,
Persian culture is among the richest in the world. Two and a half millennia
of inspiring literature, thousands of poets and writers, magnificent and
impressive architecture, live customs dating back to Zoroastrians over 3000
The present country
of Iran was occupied by the Medes and the Persians in the 1500s B.C.
, until the Persian king Cyrus the Great overthrew the Medes and became
ruler of the Achaemenid (Persian) Empire, which reached from the Indus to
the Nile at its zenith in 525 B.C............