From wikipedia about Iran
Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran
, is a country in Southern and Western Asia., Iranian & Persian Art.
The 18th largest country in the world in terms of area at, Iran
has a population of around 78 million..
Iran is home to one of the world's oldest civilizations. Lowell Barrington, Michael J. Bosia, Kathleen Bruhn, "Comparative Politics: Structures and Choices", Cengage Learning, 2009. Excerpt from page 34: "Like China
is home to one of the world's oldest civilizations" The first dynasty in Iran
formed during the Elamite kingdom in 2800 BC. The Iranian Medes unified Iran
into an empire in 625 BC. They were succeeded by the Iranian Achaemenid Empire, the Hellenic Seleucid Empire and two subsequent Iranian empires, the Parthians and the Sassanids, before the Muslim conquest in 651 AD. Iranian post-Islamic dynasties and empires expanded the Persian language and culture throughout the Iranian plateau. Early Iranian dynasties which re-asserted Iranian independence included the Tahirids, Saffarids, Samanids and Buyids.
The blossoming of Persian literature, philosophy, medicine, astronomy, mathematics and art became major elements of Muslim civilization. Iranian identity continued despite foreign rule in the ensuing centuries, Grousset, Rene, The Empire of the Steppes, (Rutgers University Press, 1991), 161, 164; ".. renewed the Seljuk attempt to found a great Turko-Persian empire in eastern Iran
.. ", "It is to be noted that the Seljuks, those Turkomans who became sultans of Persia, did not Turkify Persia-no doubt because they did not wish to do so. On the contrary, it was they who voluntarily became Persians and who, in the manner of the great old Sassanid kings, strove to protect the Iranian populations from the plundering of Ghuzz bands and save Iranian culture from the Turkoman menace. "
Bosworth, C. E. ; Hillenbrand, R. ; Rogers, J. M. ; Blois, F. C. de; Bosworth, C. E. ; Darley-Doran, R. E., Saldjukids, Encyclopaedia of Islam. Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C. E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel and W. P. Heinrichs. Brill, 2009. Brill Online: “Culturally, the constituting of the Seljuq Empire marked a further step in the dethronement of Arabic from being the sole lingua franca of educated and polite society in the Middle East. Coming as they did through a Transoxania which was still substantially Iranian and into Persia proper, the Seljuqs with no high-level Turkish cultural or literary heritage of their own – took over that of Persia, so that the Persian language became the administration and culture in their land of Persia and Anatolia. The Persian culture of the Rum Seljuqs was particularly splendid, and it was only gradually that Turkish emerged there as a parallel language in the field of government and adab; the Persian imprint in Ottoman civilization was to remain strong until the 19th century. " Ilkhanid
Ross E. Dunn, "The adventures of Ibn Battuta, a Muslim traveler of the fourteenth century", University of California Press, 1986. pg 144: "Indeed, under Ilkhanid sovereignty the high culutre of eastern and central Anatolia became more Persianized than ever before" and TimuridMaria Subtelny, "Timurids in Transition", BRILL; illustrated edition (2007-09-30). pg 40: "Nevertheless, in the complex process of transition, members of the Timurid dynasty and their Turko-Mongolian supporters became acculturate by the surrounding Persinate millieu adopting Persian cultural models and tastes and acting as patrons of Persian culture, painting, architecture and music. " pg 41: "The last members of the dynasty, notably Sultan-Abu Sa'id and Sultan-Husain, in fact came to be regarded as ideal Perso-Islamic rulers who develoted as much attention to agricultural development as they did to fostering Persianate court culture. " rulers. The emergence in 1501 of the Safavid dynasty, Andrew J. Newman, Safavid Iran: Rebirth of a Persian Empire, I. B. Tauris (30 March 2006) which promoted Twelver Shia IslamR. M. Savory, Safavids, Encyclopaedia of Islam, 2nd edition as the official religion of their empire, marked one of the most important turning points in Iranian and Muslim history. The Persian Constitutional Revolution established the nation's first parliament in 1906, within a constitutional monarchy. Iran
officially became an Islamic republic on 1 April 1979, following the Iranian Revolution., Encyclopaedia Britannica retrieved 23 January 2008
Iran is a founding member of the UN, NAM, OIC and OPEC. The political system of Iran
, based on the 1979 constitution, comprises several intricately connected governing bodies. The highest state authority is the Supreme Leader. Shia Islam is the official religion and Persian is the official language.