Islamic Republic of Iran
جمهوری اسلامی ایران ( Persian)
Jomhuri-ye Eslāmi-ye Irān
استقلال، آزادی، جمهوری اسلامی
Esteqlāl, Āzādi, Jomhuri-ye Eslāmi
"Independence, freedom, the Islamic Republic"
( de facto) [1]
Anthem: سرود ملی جمهوری اسلامی ایران‎‎
Location of Iran
and largest city
35°41′N 51°25′E / 35°41′N 51°25′E / 35.683; 51.417
Official languages Persian
Recognised regional languages
Religion Official:
Islam ( Shia)
Other recognized religions:
Demonym Iranian,
Persian (historically)
Government de jure:
Islamic republic
de facto:
Theocratic- republican hybrid; unitary presidential republic subject to a Supreme Leader [3]
Ali Khamenei
•  President
Hassan Rouhani
Eshaq Jahangiri
Ali Larijani
Sadeq Larijani
Legislature Islamic Consultative Assembly
c. 678 BC
550 BC
247 BC
224 AD [4]
934 AD
1501 [5]
1 April 1979
24 October 1979
28 July 1989
• Total
1,648,195 km2 (636,372 sq mi) ( 17th)
• Water (%)
• 2017 estimate
81,000,000 [6] ( 18th)
• Density
48/km2 (124.3/sq mi) ( 162nd)
GDP ( PPP) 2017 estimate
• Total
$1.551 trillion [7] ( 18th)
• Per capita
$19,050 [7]
GDP (nominal) 2017 estimate
• Total
$438.3 billion [7] ( 27th)
• Per capita
$5,383 [7]
Gini (2013) 37.4 [8]
HDI (2014) Increase 0.766 [9]
high ·  69th
Currency Rial ( ریال) ( IRR)
Time zone IRST ( UTC+3:30)
• Summer ( DST)
IRDT ( UTC+4:30)
Date format yyyy/mm/dd ( SH)
Drives on the right
Calling code +98
ISO 3166 code IR
Internet TLD

Iran ( Persian: ایرانIrān [ʔiːˈɾɒːn] ( About this sound  listen)), also known as Persia [10] ( ə/), [11] officially the Islamic Republic of Iran ( Persian: جمهوری اسلامی ایرانJomhuri-ye Eslāmi-ye Irān ( About this sound  listen)), [12] is a sovereign state in Western Asia. [13] [14] With about 81 million inhabitants, [6] Iran is the world's 18th-most-populous country. [15] Comprising a land area of 1,648,195 km2 (636,372 sq mi), it is the second-largest country in the Middle East and the 17th-largest in the world. Iran is bordered to the northwest by Armenia, the Republic of Azerbaijan, [a] and the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhchivan; to the north by the Caspian Sea; to the northeast by Turkmenistan; to the east by Afghanistan and Pakistan; to the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman; and to the west by Turkey and Iraq. The country's central location in Eurasia and Western Asia, and its proximity to the Strait of Hormuz, give it geostrategic importance. [16] Tehran is the country's capital and largest city, as well as its leading economic and cultural center.

Iran is home to one of the world's oldest civilizations, [17] [18] beginning with the formation of the Elamite kingdoms in the fourth millennium BC. It was first unified by the Iranian Medes in the seventh century BC, [19] and reached its greatest extent during the Achaemenid Empire founded by Cyrus the Great in the sixth century BC, stretching from Eastern Europe to the Indus Valley, becoming a larger empire than previously ever existed in the world. [20] The Iranian realm fell to Alexander the Great in the fourth century BC, but reemerged shortly after as the Parthian Empire, followed by the Sasanian Empire, which became a leading world power for the next four centuries. [21] [22]

Arab Muslims conquered the empire in the seventh century AD, ultimately leading to the displacement of the indigenous faiths of Zoroastrianism and Manichaeism with Islam. Iran made major contributions to the Islamic Golden Age that followed, producing many influential figures in art and science. After two centuries, a period of various native Muslim dynasties began, which were later conquered by the Turks and the Mongols. The rise of the Safavids in the 15th century led to the reestablishment of a unified Iranian state and national identity, [4] which followed the country's conversion to Shia Islam, marking a turning point in Iranian and Muslim history. [5] [23] By the 18th century, under Nader Shah, Iran briefly possessed what was arguably the most powerful empire at the time. [24] The 19th-century conflicts with the Russian Empire led to significant territorial losses. [25] [26] Popular unrest culminated in the Constitutional Revolution of 1906, which established a constitutional monarchy and the country's first legislature. Following a coup instigated by the United Kingdom and the United States in 1953, Iran gradually became closely aligned with the West, and grew increasingly autocratic. [27] Growing dissent against foreign influence and political repression led to the 1979 Revolution, which followed the establishment of an Islamic republic, [28] a political system which includes elements of a parliamentary democracy vetted and supervised by a theocracy governed by an autocratic " Supreme Leader". [29] During the 1980s, the country was engaged in a war with Iraq, which lasted for almost nine years and resulted in a high number of casualties and financial loss for both sides.

According to international observers, the current Iranian regime (led by Ali Khamenei since 1989) is oppressive, with human rights abuses commonplace. [30] Since the 2000s, Iran's controversial nuclear program has raised concerns, which is part of the basis of the international sanctions against the country. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, an agreement reached between Iran and the P5+1, was created on July 14, 2015, aimed to loosen the nuclear sanctions in exchange for Iran's restriction in producing enriched uranium.

Iran is a founding member of the UN, ECO, NAM, OIC, and OPEC. It is a major regional and middle power, [31] [32] and its large reserves of fossil fuels – which include the world's largest natural gas supply and the fourth-largest proven oil reserves [33] [34] – exert considerable influence in international energy security and the world economy.

The country's rich cultural legacy is reflected in part by its 22 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the third-largest number in Asia and eleventh-largest in the world. [35] Iran is a multicultural country comprising numerous ethnic and linguistic groups, the largest being Persians (61%), Azeris (16%), Kurds (10%), and Lurs (6%). [34]


The term Iran derives directly from Middle Persian Ērān, first attested in a third-century inscription at Rustam Relief, with the accompanying Parthian inscription using the term Aryān, in reference to the Iranians. [36] The Middle Iranian ērān and aryān are oblique plural forms of gentilic nouns ēr- (Middle Persian) and ary- (Parthian), both deriving from Proto-Iranian *arya- (meaning " Aryan", i.e. "of the Iranians"), [36] [37] recognized as a derivative of Proto-Indo-European *ar-yo-, meaning "(skillfully) assembler". [38] In the Iranian languages, the gentilic is attested as a self-identifier, included in ancient inscriptions and the literature of the Avesta, [39] [b] and remains also in other Iranian ethnic names Alan ( Ossetian: Ир Ir) and Iron (Ирон). [37]

Historically, Iran has been referred to as Persia by the West, due mainly to the writings of Greek historians who referred to all of Iran as Persís ( Ancient Greek: Περσίς; from Old Persian 𐎱𐎠𐎼𐎿 Pārsa), [40] meaning "land of the Persians", while Persis itself was one of the provinces of ancient Iran that is today defined as Fars. [41] As the most extensive interactions the Ancient Greeks had with any outsider was with the Persians, the term persisted, even long after the Persian rule in Greece.

In 1935, Reza Shah requested the international community to refer to the country by its native name, Iran. As The New York Times explained at the time, "At the suggestion of the Persian Legation in Berlin, the Tehran government, on the Persian New Year, Nowruz, March 21, 1935, substituted Iran for Persia as the official name of the country." Opposition to the name change led to the reversal of the decision, and Professor Ehsan Yarshater, editor of Encyclopædia Iranica, propagated a move to use Persia and Iran interchangeably. [42] Today, both Iran and Persia are used in cultural contexts, while Iran remains irreplaceable in official state contexts. [43]

Historical and cultural usage of the word Iran is not restricted to the modern state proper. [44] [45] [46] " Greater Iran" (Irānzamīn or Irān e Bozorg) [47] refers to territories of the Iranian cultural and linguistic zones. In addition to modern Iran, it includes portions of the Caucasus, Mesopotamia, Anatolia, and Central Asia. [48]


The Persian pronunciation of Iran is [ʔiːˈɾɒːn]. Common English pronunciations of Iran are listed in the Oxford English Dictionary as n/ and /ɪˈran/, [49] in Merriam-Webster's online dictionary as /i-ˈrän, -ˈran; ī-ˈran/, [50] and in Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary as /i-ran', i-rän', ī-ran'/. The Cambridge Dictionary lists n/ as the British pronunciation and n/ as the American pronunciation. The Collins English Dictionary lists the pronunciation solely as n/, and the pronunciation guide from the Voice of America provides "ih-RAHN". [51]

The English pronunciation n/ ("eye-RANN") is sometimes heard in U.S. media. According to an article published by The Washington Post, [52] the correct pronunciation of Iran is "ee-RON", while "EYE-ran" is listed as the incorrect pronunciation. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, in the dictionary's 2014 Usage Ballot, addressed the topic of the pronunciations of Iran and Iraq. [53] According to this study, the pronunciations "ih-RAHN" and "ih-RANN" were almost equally acceptable, while "ih-RAHN" was preferred by most panelists participating in the ballot. With regard to the "eye-RANN" pronunciation, however, more than 70% of the panelists deemed it unacceptable. Among the reasons given by those panelists were that "eye-RANN" has "hawkish connotations" and sounds "angrier", "xenophobic", "ignorant", and "not...cosmopolitan".

Other Languages
Acèh: Iran
Адыгэбзэ: Къажэрей
адыгабзэ: Иран
Afrikaans: Iran
Akan: Iran
Alemannisch: Iran
አማርኛ: ፋርስ
Ænglisc: Persealand
Аҧсшәа: Џьамтәыла
العربية: إيران
aragonés: Irán
ܐܪܡܝܐ: ܐܝܪܐܢ
armãneashti: Iran
arpetan: Éran
অসমীয়া: ইৰান
asturianu: Irán
Avañe'ẽ: Iran
azərbaycanca: İran
تۆرکجه: ایران
বাংলা: ইরান
Bân-lâm-gú: Iran
башҡортса: Иран
беларуская: Іран
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Іран
भोजपुरी: ईरान
Bikol Central: Iran
български: Иран
Boarisch: Iran
བོད་ཡིག: ཡི་ལང་།
bosanski: Iran
brezhoneg: Iran
буряад: Иран
català: Iran
Чӑвашла: Иран
Cebuano: Iran
čeština: Írán
Chavacano de Zamboanga: Irán
chiShona: Iran
chiTumbuka: Iran
corsu: Iranu
Cymraeg: Iran
dansk: Iran
davvisámegiella: Iran
Deitsch: Iraen
Deutsch: Iran
ދިވެހިބަސް: އީރާން
dolnoserbski: Iran
ཇོང་ཁ: ཨི་རཱན་
eesti: Iraan
Ελληνικά: Ιράν
эрзянь: Иран Мастор
español: Irán
Esperanto: Irano
estremeñu: Irán
euskara: Iran
فارسی: ایران
Fiji Hindi: Iran
føroyskt: Iran
français: Iran
Frysk: Iran
Gaeilge: An Iaráin
Gaelg: Yn Eeraan
Gagauz: İran
Gàidhlig: Ioràn
galego: Irán
贛語: 伊朗
Gĩkũyũ: Iran
گیلکی: ايران
ગુજરાતી: ઈરાન
गोंयची कोंकणी / Gõychi Konknni: ईराण
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Iran
한국어: 이란
Hausa: Iran
Hawaiʻi: ‘Ilana
Հայերեն: Իրան
हिन्दी: ईरान
hornjoserbsce: Iran
hrvatski: Iran
Ido: Iran
Ilokano: Iran
বিষ্ণুপ্রিয়া মণিপুরী: ইরান
Bahasa Indonesia: Iran
interlingua: Iran
Interlingue: Iran
Ирон: Иран
isiZulu: I-Irani
íslenska: Íran
italiano: Iran
עברית: איראן
Basa Jawa: Iran
kalaallisut: Iran
ಕನ್ನಡ: ಇರಾನ್
Kapampangan: Iran
ქართული: ირანი
कॉशुर / کٲشُر: ایٖران
kaszëbsczi: Iran
қазақша: Иран
kernowek: Iran
Kinyarwanda: Irani
Kiswahili: Uajemi
коми: Иран
Kongo: Iran
Kreyòl ayisyen: Iran
Kurdî: Îran
Кыргызча: Иран
Ladino: Iran
лакку: Иран
лезги: Иран
لۊری شومالی: ایران
Latina: Irania
latviešu: Irāna
Lëtzebuergesch: Iran
lietuvių: Iranas
Ligure: Iran
Limburgs: Iran
lingála: Iran
Livvinkarjala: Iran
la .lojban.: iran
lumbaart: Iran
magyar: Irán
मैथिली: इरान
македонски: Иран
Malagasy: Iran
മലയാളം: ഇറാൻ
Malti: Iran
Māori: Īrāna
मराठी: इराण
მარგალური: ირანი
مصرى: ايران
مازِرونی: ایران
Bahasa Melayu: Iran
Baso Minangkabau: Iran
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Iran
мокшень: Иран
монгол: Иран улс
မြန်မာဘာသာ: အီရန်နိုင်ငံ
Nāhuatl: Iran
Dorerin Naoero: Iran
Nederlands: Iran
Nedersaksies: Iran
नेपाली: इरान
नेपाल भाषा: इरान
日本語: イラン
Napulitano: Iran
нохчийн: Иран
Nordfriisk: Iraan
Norfuk / Pitkern: Eraan
norsk: Iran
norsk nynorsk: Iran
Novial: Iran
occitan: Iran
олык марий: Иран
ଓଡ଼ିଆ: ଇରାନ
Oromoo: Iraan
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Eron
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਈਰਾਨ
पालि: ईरान
Pangasinan: Iran
پنجابی: ایران
Papiamentu: Iran
پښتو: ايران
Patois: Iran
ភាសាខ្មែរ: អ៊ីរ៉ង់
Picard: Iran
Piemontèis: Iran
Tok Pisin: Iran
Plattdüütsch: Iran
polski: Iran
português: Irão
Qaraqalpaqsha: İran
qırımtatarca: İran
română: Iran
rumantsch: Iran
Runa Simi: Iran
русиньскый: Іран
русский: Иран
саха тыла: Ираан
Gagana Samoa: Iran
संस्कृतम्: ईरान
sardu: Iran
Scots: Iran
Seeltersk: Iran
Sesotho sa Leboa: Iran
shqip: Irani
sicilianu: Iran
සිංහල: ඉරානය
Simple English: Iran
سنڌي: ایران
SiSwati: I-Irani
slovenčina: Irán
slovenščina: Iran
ślůnski: Iran
Soomaaliga: Iiraan
کوردی: ئێران
српски / srpski: Иран
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Iran
Basa Sunda: Iran
suomi: Iran
svenska: Iran
Tagalog: Iran
தமிழ்: ஈரான்
Taqbaylit: Iṛan
tarandíne: Iran
татарча/tatarça: Иран
తెలుగు: ఇరాన్
tetun: Iraun
тоҷикӣ: Эрон
ತುಳು: ಇರಾನ್
Türkçe: İran
Türkmençe: Eýran
Twi: Iran
тыва дыл: Ирaн
удмурт: Иран
ᨅᨔ ᨕᨘᨁᨗ: Iran
українська: Іран
اردو: ایران
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: ئىران
Vahcuengh: Iran
vèneto: Iran
vepsän kel’: Iran
Tiếng Việt: Iran
Volapük: Lirän
Võro: Iraan
walon: Iran
文言: 伊朗
West-Vlams: Iran
Winaray: Iran
Wolof: Iraan
吴语: 伊朗
ייִדיש: איראן
Yorùbá: Ìránì
粵語: 伊朗
Zazaki: İran
Zeêuws: Iran
žemaitėška: Irans
中文: 伊朗
डोटेली: इरान
Kabɩyɛ: Iranɩ (Iran)