Iran, also known as Persia is a republic country in the middle east with population more than 80 millions. Comprising a land area of 1.5 million square-km, it is the second-largest country in the Middle East and the 17th-largest in the world. Iran is bordered to the north by the Caspian Sea and to the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.  The country’s central location in Eurasia and Western Asia, and its proximity to the Strait of Hormuz, give it geostrategic importance.

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, 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%).

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