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Official name: Islamic Republic of Iran

Capital city: Tehran – population approximately 7.5 million

Area: 1.648 million square kilometers (636,296 square miles)

Population: 77.3 million

People: The majority are Persian, but there is a significant Azeri minority. Other ethnic groups include Kurds, Arabs, Lurs, Baluchis and Turkmen

Language: Persian (Farsi) is the national language. Azeri is the next most widely spoken language – most Azeri speakers living in the northwest around Tabriz. Other minority languages include Kurdish, Arabic, Luri and Baluchi

Religion: The official religion is Shi’a Islam. The majority of the population are Muslims, approximately 89% are Shi’a, 10% are Sunni, mainly Kurds. The rest are mainly Zoroastrian, Jewish, Christian or Bahá’í

Currency: Iranian rials (10 rials = 1 toman)

Government type: Unitary Islamic republic

U.S. – Iran relations:

The United States and Iran had diplomatic, economic and political relationships from 1880 until 1979, when the Islamic Republic of Iran changed its policies dramatically and occupied the American embassy in Tehran by taking 52 American diplomats hostage for 444 days. The Islamic Republic of Iran heavily restricted laws on women rights, freedom of speech, press, and assembly. Additionally, the disclosure of the nuclear proliferation center in Natanz and Arak raised international outcry on Iran’s ambitions in reaching nuclear power. The U.S. also has concerns about Iran’s sponsorship of terrorism and human rights record.


Reference: U.S. State Department

Middle East Archives

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      Syrian rebel fighters backed by Turkey went on a looting spree in Afrin on Sunday after seizing control of the Kurdish-held town following a two-month siege, observers said.
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