The Islamic Republic of Iran
is a country located in the Middle East, in southwestern Asia. It is bordered by Iraq, Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. With an area of 1,630,848 square kilometers, it covers 629,674 square miles, making it one of the largest countries in the region. As of 2023, Iran has an estimated population of 87,229,000.
Tehrān is the capital city of Iran, and is home to the majority of the country's Persian-speaking population. Other ethnic groups in Iran include Azerbaijanians, Kurds, Lurs, Bakhtyārī, and Baloch. The official language is Farsī (Persian), although many other languages are spoken in the country. Islam is the official religion, with the majority of the population being Shi'ite Muslims.
Iran is dominated by high plateaus, rising more than 1,500 feet (460 meters) above sea level. About one-tenth of its land is arable, while another one-fourth is suitable for grazing. Petroleum reserves account for around one-tenth of the world's total, making it a major contributor to the Iranian economy.
The government of Iran is a unitary Islamic republic, with one legislative house, several oversight bodies, and a president as head of state and government. The supreme authority rests with the rahbar (leader), who is a ranking cleric.
Iran is known for its rich cultural heritage, with ancient sites such as Persepolis, monuments, mosques, and other historical attractions. Its cuisine is also renowned, including dishes like kebabs, tahdig, and polo.