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NFE/5.0en-USnews-webmaster@google.com2018 Google Inc.Thu, 13 Dec 2018 14:26:11 GMTGoogle News
Iran hackers hunt nuclear workers, US targets  ABC News

As U.S. President Donald Trump re-imposed harsh economic sanctions on Iran last month, hackers scrambled to break into personal emails of American officials ...

ABC News
Iran launches infographic contest for Revolution anniv.  PRESSTV

Iran launches the first infographic contest to highlight the achievements of the Islamic Revolution on its upcoming 40th anniversary.

President Trump’s claim that Democrats gave Iran $150 billion  The Washington Post

He has repeatedly suggested that President Barack Obama gave $150 billion in taxpayer funds to Iran. That's false.

The Washington Post
Iran's Parliament: More Low-Income Iranians Fall into Poverty  VOA News

Report by Iranian parliament says worsening economy means more Iranians living in Tehran have fallen beneath poverty line based on their monthly income.

VOA News
Vahid Sayadi Nasiri: Jailed Iran activist dies on hunger strike  BBC News

An Iranian political activist jailed for his messages on social media has died after spending 60 days on hunger strike, his family says. Vahid Sayadi Nasiri had ...

BBC News
India did not let Russian-owned refinery buy Iranian oil -Iran minister  Economic Times

Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said on Wednesday that, because of U.S. sanctions, India had refused to allow a Russian-owned Indian refinery to use ...

Economic Times
Pompeo: Iran Increasing Ballistic Missile Activity  Voice of America

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the U.N. Security Council Wednesday that Iran's ballistic missile activity has been growing since the 2015 nuclear deal, ...

Voice of America
Iran: Top government officials distorted the truth about 1988 prison massacres  Amnesty International

Following the publication of its damning report on a three-decade long campaign of misinformation by the Iranian authorities about the mass prisoner killings of ...

Amnesty International
Trump repeats lies about Iran  PRESSTV

US President Donald Trump speaks repetitious lies about Iran to trick Democrats.

Netanyahu: Israel would hit Iran to ensure its own surv...  Daily Maverick

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that Israel would be prepared to attack inside Iran if the Jewish state's survival was at stake.

Daily Maverick
​2019 security threats? Expect Iranian 'kittens' to follow the money  ZDNet

The resumption of sanctions against Iran means the US financial sector faces renewed threats.

McGill grad jailed in Iran being criminalized for environmental work, says friend  CBC.ca

It's been more than 10 months since McGill graduate Niloufar Bayani was arrested in Iran, where she was working as a conservationist. Now, calls are growing ...

China's CNPC Halts Iran Gas Investment Under US Pressure  OilPrice.com

State-controlled China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) has suspended investment in the giant South Pars gas field in Iran, following pressure from the ...

Jimmy Carter's Options in Iran Were All Bad  War Is Boring

The passing of former U.S. president George H.W. Bush in December 2018 left Jimmy Carter as the oldest living American president. The 39th ...

War Is Boring
Rick Perry struggles to convince Iraq to cut ties with Iran  Washington Examiner

Energy Secretary Rick Perry spent the last two days trying to convince the Iraqi government that it's in its best interest to cut energy ties with Iran, but with limited ...

Washington Examiner
AP Exclusive: Iran-linked hackers have tried to break into private emails of nuclear scientists, US sanctions officials  ABC News

Get breaking national and world news, broadcast video coverage, and exclusive interviews. Find the top news online at ABC news.

ABC News
Cheap Power Is Luring Battered Bitcoin Miners to Iran  CoinDesk

While some bitcoin miners are estimated to have shut down hundreds of thousands of machines – if not more – others are still out there looking for alternative ...

Iran airlines need 500 planes, official mulls Sukhoi: reports  Reuters

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran needs some 500 planes and would likely back buying the Sukhoi Superjet 100 if Russia is willing to sell them to its airlines, Iranian news ...

Iran confirms missile test in defiance of U.S.  Reuters

GENEVA (Reuters) - A senior Iranian military commander has confirmed that Tehran recently carried out a ballistic missile test, to the anger of the United States, ...

'China steady on Iran oilfields but to ditch gas plan'  PRESSTV

Reuters says China's CNPC has decided to continue investing in two major Iranian oilfields but suspend investment in the South Pars natural gas project under ...

Senator Marco Rubio: Hold Saudis accountable, but don't ignore Iran in Yemen  Fox News

The United States is right to hold Saudi Arabia accountable for Khashoggi's barbaric murder but we must also squarely face Iran's central role in perpetuating ...

Fox News
Pressure mounts on Iran over academic who faces death sentence  Nature.com

More than 100 Nobel laureates have written to the nation's supreme leader demanding the release of medical researcher Ahmadreza Djalali.

US, EU exports to Iran soar despite sanctions  PRESSTV

The US and European trade path to Iran has taken a curiously similar trajectory since Washington reimposed sanctions on Tehran in August.

Iran sentences three human rights lawyers to prison, reports say  The Guardian

Trio face lengthy terms for opposing the ruling system amid accusations of 'propaganda'

The Guardian
CNPC's purported exit from $4.8bn Iran project may be the scheme's death knell  The National

CNPC entities such as PetroChina have exposure to the US financial markets, making them susceptible to penalties in case of sanctions non-compliance.

The National
Iran Offers to Provide Health Services to Yemen, Syria  Sputnik International

Iranian Health Minister Hassan Qazizadeh Hashemi said that the country is ready to provide health services to the war-torn regions of Yemen and Syria.

Sputnik International
Iraq seeking waiver from US sanctions on Iran  PRESSTV

The Iraqi prime minister says Baghdad cannot be included in US sanctions against Tehran, stressing the importance of gas imports from Iran.

Oil price lower on Iran comments despite Libya, OPEC supply cuts - Business News  The Star Online

NEW YORK: Oil price ended lower on Wednesday after reports that Iran's oil minister said divisions exist within the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting ...

The Star Online
Iran can expand range of its missiles, says revolutionary guard commander  DefenseNews.com

WASHINGTON — A senior commander in Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps said Monday that Tehran has can expand the range of its missiles beyond the ...

Why is Canada sanctioning Saudis while ignoring Iran?  National Post

Opinion: Iran has executed thousands of its own citizens and it has the blood of more than one Canadian on its hands.

National Post
On Iraq's border with Syria, Iran-backed militia warily eye U.S. forces  Reuters UK

From a desert hillside guarded by Iraqi Shi'ite paramilitaries, commander Qasim Muslih can spot Islamic State hideouts across the frontier in Syria. But he also ...

Reuters UK
Australian academic faces 'infiltration' charges in Iran: state media  The Sydney Morning Herald

Dubai: Iran has detained a University of Melbourne academic on charges of trying to "infiltrate" Iranian institutions, according to official state media. Melbourne ...

The Sydney Morning Herald
Pompeo Warns That Iran's Missile Program Is 'Out Of Control'  NPR

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is warning the U.N. that Iran's missile program is "out of control." He's trying to build up more pressure on Iran, though some ...

Japanese refiners working to resume Iran oil loadings: PAJ chief  S&P Global Platts

Japanese refiners are aiming to resume loadings of Iranian oil from January, but won't take the risk of loading cargoes beyond March amid doubts over whether ...

S&P Global Platts
What Iran policy?  The Washington Post

President Trump came into office committed to withdrawing from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). It was a flawed deal, to be certain, but it was ...

The Washington Post
Iran's Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei calls for unity, warns of US plots in 2019  Times Now

Dubai: Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei urged Iranians on Wednesday to stay united, saying the United States would exploit divisions and was likely to ...

Times Now
Iran's President warns US sanctions could increase flow of illegal drugs  CNN

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned Saturday that the United States' re-imposed sanctions on Iran will not help his country in fighting drug trafficking and ...

Iran tests medium-range ballistic missile, Pompeo says  CNN

Washington (CNN) Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday said Iran tested a medium-range ballistic missile, violating a United Nations resolution.

Iran's migrants trying to get from Serbia to the UK  BBC News

The BBC investigates how a visa-free travel scheme helped Iranian migrants get into Europe.

BBC News
Iran arrests more than 100 Christians in growing crackdown on minority  The Telegraph

Iran has arrested more than 100 Christians in the last week, charities report, amid a growing crackdown by the Islamic Republic. Many of the 114 detained were ...

The Telegraph
Families of Americans held in Iran ask Trump to pull visas for kids of top Iran officials  NBC News

WASHINGTON — Families of Americans detained in Iran have urged the Trump administration to deny U.S. visas to the children of top-ranking officials in the ...

NBC News
Video: Iranian forest rangers resuscitate lizard (and save thousands of animals)  FRANCE 24

Follow international news through our Observers' amateur images and eyewitness testimony. All the *content* is verified and explained by our journalists.

Iran Official Says French Protests Are 'Islamic Awakening'  RadioFarda

The head of the Islamic Republic Judiciary has said on Monday that protests in France are part of the “Islamic awakening” and a development foreseen by Iran's ...

Iran capital Tehran is SINKING - and it may be TOO LATE to save  Express.co.uk

Tehran, the most populous city in Western Asia with a population of around 15 million people, has become the victim of dramatic subsidence, which is causing ...

Perry, Iraqi Kurdish leader discuss energy ties, Iran  Reuters UK

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry tweeted on Thursday that he had discussed energy cooperation with Iraqi Kurdish leader Masrour Barzani.

Reuters UK
Iran's government cannot afford to ignore Khuzestan anymore  Al Jazeera English

The impoverished people of oil-rich Khuzestan can no longer be pacified by empty rhetoric from Tehran.

Al Jazeera English
Rare suicide car bombing in Iran kills at least two  The Guardian

A suicide car bomber has attacked a police headquarters in the Iranian port city of Chabahar, killing at least two people and wounding several others, according ...

The Guardian
IRGC Commander: Iran’s Enemies Are ‘Disappointed’ with Sanctions’ Efficiency  Sputnik International

Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari said on Tuesday at a local ceremony that even enemies of the Islamic Republic acknowledge that the sanctions against Iran ...

Sputnik International
Iran's steel industry blasts out of the blocks  PRESSTV

Iran is capable of producing 25 million tonnes of steel in the current fiscal year which ends on March 21, 2019 but foreign sanctions and duties are a big hurdle, ...

Cutting output by even 1 barrel is 'a red line' for Iran, oil minister says  CNBC

Iran is refusing to cut its oil production at the latest OPEC meeting, saying it is a "red line" for the Islamic Republic.

US likely to continue Iran sanctions waivers for Iraq, but neutering Tehran's influence is a long-term goal  CNBC

Iraq won't be left hanging amid Washington's sanctions on Iran, which supplies almost half of its electricity, experts familiar with U.S. policy say.

Iran’s economic reforms in retreat  Brookings Institution

The damage caused by Trump's U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal could more than destabilize Iran's economic reform plan—it could threaten the ...

Brookings Institution
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani threatens to close Strait of Hormuz if US blocks oil exports  CNBC

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani threatened on Tuesday to close the strait of Hormuz, the world's busiest sea lane for oil shipments, if the United States moves ...

Australian-Iranian academic detained in Iran on espionage charges  ABC News

Dr Meimanat Hosseini Chavoshi, an Australian-Iranian dual national, joins a growing number of academics the Islamic Republic claims are spies — a charge ...

ABC News
Will Iran warships in Venezuela cause alarm? This is going to bother neighboring countries  Miami Herald

An announcement that Iran may deploy new-generation warships to Venezuelan waters is being regarded by analysts as the mother of all provocations because ...

Miami Herald
Despite Iran-Israel tension, Iranian Jews feel at home  PBS NewsHour

Jewish people have called Iran home for nearly 3000 years. The Trump administration and U.S. ally Israel often depict the Iranian government as composed of ...

PBS NewsHour
Huawei: Meng Wanzhou faces Iran fraud charges, court hears  BBC News

The chief financial officer of the Chinese telecoms giant Huawei faces fraud charges in the United States, a Canadian court hearing has revealed.

BBC News
Photo Gallery: A Look at 20 Years of Drought Ravaging Southeast Iran  WIRED

If you drove through the Hamoun Wetlands of southeastern Iran centuries ago, you would have found an oasis. In the rainy season, lakes and marshes have ...

Canada arrests top Huawei executive on suspicion of violating Iran sanctions  The Verge

Canada arrested the chief financial officer of Huawei on suspicion of violating US sanctions against Iran. The CFO, Meng Wanzhou, was arrested in Vancouver ...

The Verge
Iran’s new anti-corruption courts have begun sending businessmen to the gallows  The Washington Post

Special Iranian anti-corruption courts established this summer have in recent weeks handed down harsh sentences, including the death penalty, to business ...

The Washington Post
Iran’s Chain Murders: A wave of killings that shook a nation  BBC News

How the brutal killing of an elderly couple in Iran 20 years ago exposed a series of murders spanning a decade.

BBC News
Iraq seeks exemption from US sanctions on Iran, says Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi  Times Now

Baghdad: Iraq will send a delegation to the United States seeking an exemption from sanctions against Iran that would allow it to keep importing Iranian gas, ...

Times Now
WW3 WARNING: Iran’s Rouhani says Trump’s sanctions are ‘ECONOMIC TERRORISM’  Express.co.uk

IRAN'S President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday American sanctions amounted to “economic terrorism,” as he accused Washington of sowing fear among ...

Victims look to punish Iran for attacks against US troops in Iraq  Military Times

The lawsuit is asking for $10 billion in damages for the victims and their families.

Military Times
Iran at a low point: Tehran is sinking, and it may be irreversible  Haaretz

A recent study based on analyzed satellite data shows that the Iranian capital is sinking at a rate of 10 inches per year.

Russia Military Planes Arrive in Venezuela, Iran's Warships May Follow to Support U.S. Foe  Newsweek

"We are builders of peace and not war," Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino said.

Trump’s Iran-centric Syria Policy Takes Shape  The Atlantic

Congress likely won't take action to rein in the military powers it granted the president after the 9/11 attacks—powers that Trump uses with the broad aim of ...

The Atlantic
Iran navy launches stealth warship in the Gulf  Reuters

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran's navy on Saturday launched a domestically made destroyer, which state media said has radar-evading stealth properties, as tensions ...

The App Destroying Iran’s Currency  Foreign Policy

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani owes his re-election in large part to the messaging app Telegram. During Iran's 2017 presidential election, Iranians relied on ...

Foreign Policy
Would not allow Iran obtain nuclear weapons: Trump  Economic Times

His administration has imposed some of the toughest sanctions on Iran, which among other things ask countries like India and China to cut off import of oil from ...

Economic Times
Hunt in Iran to appeal for release of Zaghari-Ratcliffe  The Guardian

Foreign secretary calls on Tehran to stop using Iranian-British dual nationals for diplomatic leverage.

The Guardian
Iran vows to flood West with drugs, migrants and terrorists as US sanctions cripple the country  The Irish Sun

Iran's economy is in chaos after the US re-imposed sanctions lifted under nuclear weapons deal with world powers But Tehran claims it may not be able to stop ...

The Irish Sun
'Deep concern' for Melbourne University academic detained in Iran  The Sydney Morning Herald

A population expert at the University of Melbourne has been detained in Iran. Dr Meimanat Hosseini-Chavoshi, a dual Iranian-Australian citizen who works at the ...

The Sydney Morning Herald
Trump's international anti-Iran coalition looks like it's falling apart. He doesn't have a back-up plan.  NBC News

President Donald Trump set out to pick a fight with Iran from the early days of his administration. But a set of astonishing developments has pulled the rug out ...

NBC News
Iran's secret prison massacres revealed  The New Arab

Thousands were forcibly disappeared and extrajudicially executed in Iranian prisons in 1988, an Amnesty International report reveals, naming high-profile ...

The New Arab
Iran must free Farhad Meysami, a nonviolent fighter for human rights  The Washington Post

Abbas Milani is a research fellow and co-director of the Iran Democracy Project at the Hoover Institution, and the Hamid and Christina Moghadam Director of ...

The Washington Post
Iran’s Continuing Misinformation Campaign  Townhall

Iran's Continuing Misinformation Campaign - Wes Martin: In additional to serving as the Senior Antiterrorism Officer for .12/12/2018 11:51:00AM EST.

Push for Syria solution may hasten Iranian forces' exit  Haaretz

While Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is having difficulty finding a gap in Vladimir Putin's schedule, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met his ...

Fresh sanctions on Iran are already choking off medicine imports, economists say  The Washington Post

ISTANBUL — New U.S. sanctions on Iranian financial firms, including a bank that until recently handled most payments for Iran's imports of humanitarian goods, ...

The Washington Post
The World Was Catching on to Iran's Contemporary Art. Then Sanctions Returned  Bloomberg

In Tehran, Hormoz Hematian's gallery was thriving. Domestic and international collectors were buying works by his local artists. When Donald Trump tore up the ...

Iran earthquake: Magnitude 6.3 tremor hits western Iran leaving hundreds injured  CNN

At least 200 people have been injured in a 6.3 magnitude earthquake that struck near the border with Iraq, Iran's semi-official Fars News Agency reported.

Iran's Rohani Urges Muslims To Unite Against U.S.  RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty

Iranian President Hassan Rohani has called on Muslims across the world to unite against the United States, instead of "rolling out red carpets for criminals."

Iranian Bitcoin Users Are Already Being Affected By New US Sanctions  CoinDesk

On Wednesday, the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced that two bitcoin addresses tied to Iran residents Ali ...

Iran Hopes Iranian-EU Oil Trade Mechanism To Start Working By Year-End  OilPrice.com

Iran hopes that the special purpose vehicle that would allow the European Union (EU) to continue buying Iranian oil amid the U.S. sanctions will become ...

Iran’s regime could fall apart. What happens then?  The Washington Post

We are now more than two weeks into a new sanctions regime on Iran, and it will be a long time before it ends. The secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, has listed ...

The Washington Post
Iran EXPOSED: ‘Uninspected’ secret nuclear sites REVEALED, sparking World War 3 fears  Express.co.uk

IRAN is harbouring secret “uninspected” military sites, “vital to the nuclear weapons programme”, which have gone unchecked by international governments, ...

Iran’s Top Airline Stays Busy—Despite U.S. Sanctions  The Wall Street Journal

A study of flight data reveals that U.S. sanctions have failed to slow down Iran's flag carrier, Iran Air, highlighting the challenge facing the Trump administration in ...

The Wall Street Journal
Iran's nuclear chief warns EU patience is running thin  Reuters

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Iran's nuclear chief said on Tuesday he was warning the European Union's top diplomat that Iranian patience was running out on the ...

Iran US sanctions accelerate Iran's blockchain drive  Al-Monitor

Iran is accelerating work on its blockchain-enabled projects, which could potentially include a multilateral replacement for SWIFT, in light of the reimposed US ...

'Iran missile program no breach of UN Resolution 2231'  PRESSTV

Zarif once again rejected allegations by US officials that Iran's missile program violates UN Security Council Resolution 2231.

Trump's Sanctions Are Proving a Bitter Pill for Iran's Sick  Bloomberg

Leila Koochaki's health has become collateral damage as the U.S. extends its economic offensive against Iran.

Is Iranian saffron sanction-proof?  Aljazeera.com

Iranian saffron sellers consider the US sanctions on Iran a buyer's problem and note that their saffron, used in everything from perfumes to medicine, even sells ...

Iran’s influence in Iraq is declining. Here’s why.  The Washington Post

Iran's once-indomitable influence in Iraq is waning, new public opinion data shows. The rise of Iranian influence can be traced to the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.

The Washington Post
Special Report: How Iran spreads disinformation around the world  Reuters

LONDON/WASHINGTON A Tehran-based agency has quietly fed propaganda through at least 70 websites to countries from Afghanistan to Russia.

Column One: Europe beats Iran’s war drums  The Jerusalem Post - Israel News

Last Saturday, Iran's “moderate” President Hassan Rouhani called Israel “a cancerous tumor” in a speech at the regime's annual Islamic Unity Conference.

The Jerusalem Post - Israel News
Iran’s Poorly Paid Teachers on Nationwide Strike for 2nd Day  VOA News

Iranian teachers have gone on a nationwide strike for a second consecutive day to demand better working conditions for their poorly paid profession, one month ...

VOA News
Iran Was Closer to a Nuclear Bomb Than Intelligence Agencies Thought  Foreign Policy

A secret Iranian archive seized by Israeli agents earlier this year indicates that Tehran's nuclear program was more advanced than Western intelligence ...

Foreign Policy
World War 3: US sends aircraft carrier to Iran’s coast after Tehran launches new warship  Express.co.uk

The USS John C Stennis and support ships will arrive off the coast of Iran by the end of the week marking the first such US military presence in the area for eight ...

Is the Trump Administration Pivoting the Fight in Syria Toward a War with Iran?  The New Yorker

Seth Harp writes on the Trump Administration's mission in Syria, its efforts to defeat the Islamic State, and its military positioning toward the Assad regime and ...

The New Yorker
Iran must be held accountable for cyberattacks  Arab News

Iran's expansionist policies have attracted significant attention from some media outlets, politicians and scholars. The regime's military adventurism in the region ...

Arab News

Iran Videos

Secretary Pompeo at the United Nations Security Council Meeting on Iran
Secretary Pompeo at the United Nations Security Council Meeting on Iran
Breaking: Iran Slams U.S. As Liar At The United Nations
Breaking: Iran Slams U.S. As Liar At The United Nations
BREAKING: U.S. urges the WORLD to see IRAN as a  PROBLEM
BREAKING: U.S. urges the WORLD to see IRAN as a PROBLEM
There are two bones of contention between US & Iran – nuclear programme and... pistachios
There are two bones of contention between US & Iran – nuclear programme and... pistachios
BREAKING: IRAN blames U.S. for INCREASING tensions
BREAKING: IRAN blames U.S. for INCREASING tensions
ALERT: U.S.  Strong Respond To Iran, Vow To Get More Serious
ALERT: U.S. Strong Respond To Iran, Vow To Get More Serious
Pompeo: Iran Increasing Ballistic Missile Activity
Pompeo: Iran Increasing Ballistic Missile Activity
LIVE: U.S. and IRAN Urgent briefing to U.N
LIVE: U.S. and IRAN Urgent briefing to U.N
UK MUST prepare for ALL OUT WAR against Russia, China and Iran military chief warns
UK MUST prepare for ALL OUT WAR against Russia, China and Iran military chief warns

Iran Images

File:Buildings in tehran.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
File:Buildings in tehran.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
Photos show victim's mother forgive killer, halt hanging ...
Photos show victim's mother forgive killer, halt hanging ...
The Peutinger Table, section 11 on a modern map: Mesopotamia
The Peutinger Table, section 11 on a modern map: Mesopotamia
Fun and interesting facts about Azerbaijan you should know
Fun and interesting facts about Azerbaijan you should know
Lago Azul, Aysen, Chilean Patagonia #3 - Landscape & Rural ...
Lago Azul, Aysen, Chilean Patagonia #3 - Landscape & Rural ...
Missile Maps and Infographics
Missile Maps and Infographics
伊朗国家简介 - 伊朗百科
伊朗国家简介 - 伊朗百科
Islamische Architektur
Islamische Architektur
Histoire de l'Iran
Histoire de l'Iran

Iran WebSites


Iran Wiki

Iran (Persian: ایران‎ Irān [ʔiːˈɾɒːn] (listen)), also known as Persia (), officially the Islamic Republic of Iran (Persian: جمهوری اسلامی ایران‎ Jomhuri-ye Eslāmi-ye Irān (listen)), is a country in Western Asia. With over 81 million inhabitants, Iran is the world's 18th-most-populous country. 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 and the Republic of Azerbaijan, 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. 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, beginning with the formation of the Elamite kingdoms in the fourth millennium BCE. It was first unified by the Iranian Medes in the seventh century BCE, reaching its greatest territorial size in the sixth century BCE, when Cyrus the Great founded the Achaemenid Empire, which stretched from Eastern Europe to the Indus Valley, becoming one of the largest empires in history. The Iranian realm fell to Alexander the Great in the fourth century BCE and was divided into several Hellenistic states. An Iranian rebellion culminated in the establishment of the Parthian Empire, which was succeeded in the third century CE by the Sasanian Empire, a leading world power for the next four centuries.Arab Muslims conquered the empire in the seventh century CE. The Islamization of Iran led to the decline of Zoroastrianism, which was by then the country's dominant religion, and Iran's major contributions to art and science spread within the Muslim rule during the Islamic Golden Age. After two centuries, a period of various native Muslim dynasties began, which were later conquered by the Seljuq Turks and the Ilkhanate Mongols. The rise of the Safavids in the 15th century led to the reestablishment of a unified Iranian state and national identity, with the country's conversion to Shia Islam marking a turning point in Iranian and Muslim history. Under Nader Shah, Iran was one of the most powerful states in the 18th century, though by the 19th century, a series of conflicts with the Russian Empire led to significant territorial losses. The Iranian Constitutional Revolution in the early 20th century led to the establishment of a constitutional monarchy and the country's first legislature. A 1953 coup instigated by the United Kingdom and the United States resulted in greater autocracy and growing Western political influence. Subsequent widespread dissatisfaction and unrest against the monarchy led to the 1979 Revolution and the establishment of an Islamic republic, a political system that includes elements of a parliamentary democracy vetted and supervised by a theocracy governed by an autocratic "Supreme Leader". 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 economic losses for both sides.The sovereign state of Iran is a founding member of the UN, ECO, NAM, OIC, and OPEC. It is a major regional and middle power, and its large reserves of fossil fuels – which include the world's largest natural gas supply and the fourth-largest proven oil reserves – 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. Iran is a multicultural country comprising numerous ethnic and linguistic groups, the largest being Persians (61%), Azeris (16%), Kurds (10%), and Lurs (6%).