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The Iran Portal

Welcome to Iran's Portal
به درگاه سرزمین ایران خوش آمدید
The Coat of arms of Iran.

Emblem of Iran
Iran's map

Iran, (Persian: ايران‎, Īrān; pronunciation: [iːˈɾɒn]), officially the Islamic Republic of Iran (Persian: جمهوری اسلامی ايران‎, transliteration: Jomhūrī-ye Eslāmī-ye Īrān), formerly known internationally as Persia, is a country in Western Asia. The 18th largest country in the world, Iran is approximately the size of the United Kingdom, France, Spain, and Germany combined and has a population of over 82 million people. Iran borders Armenia, Azerbaijan, to the north-west, Russia and Kazakhstan through the Caspian Sea to the north, Turkmenistan to the north-east, Afghanistan and Pakistan to the east, and Turkey and Iraq to the west. In addition, it borders the Persian Gulf, an important oil-producing area, and the Caspian sea. Shi'a Islam is the official state religion and Persian the official language. The political system of Iran comprises several intricately connected governing bodies and is based on the 1979 Constitution. The highest state authority is the Supreme Leader, currently served by Ali Khamenei.

Iran has one of the oldest histories in the world, extending more than 5000 years, and throughout history, Iran has been of geostrategic importance because of its central location in Eurasia and Western Asia. Iran is a founding member of the UN, NAM, OIC, OPEC, and ECO. Iran as a major regional power occupies an important position in the world economy due to its substantial reserves of petroleum and natural gas, and has considerable regional influence in Western Asia. The name Iran is a cognate of Aryan and literally means "Land of the Aryans."

Selected article

The Byzantine–Seljuq Wars were a series of decisive battles that shifted the balance of power in Asia Minor and Syria from the Byzantine Empire to the Seljuq Turks. Riding from the steppes of Central Asia, the Seljuq Turks replicated tactics practiced by the Huns hundreds of years earlier against a similar Roman opponent but now combining it with new-found Islamic zeal; in many ways, the Seljuq Turks resumed the conquests of the Muslims in the Byzantine–Arab Wars initiated by the Rashidun, Umayyad and Abassid Caliphate in the Levant, North Africa and Asia Minor. Today, the Battle of Manzikert is widely seen as the moment when the Byzantines lost the war against the Turks; however the Byzantine military was of questionable quality before 1071 with regular Turkish incursions overrunning the failing theme system. Even after Manzikert, Byzantine rule over Asia Minor did not end immediately, nor were any heavy concessions levied by the Turks on their opponents — it took another 20 years before the Turks were in control of the entire Anatolian peninsula and not for long either. During the course of the war, the Seljuq Turks and their allies attacked the Fatimid Caliphate of Egypt, capturing Jerusalem and catalyzing the call for the First Crusade. Crusader assistance to the Byzantine Empire was mixed with treachery and looting, although substantial gains were made in the First Crusade. Within a hundred years of Manzikert, the Byzantines had (with Crusader assistance) successfully driven back the Turks from the coasts of Asia Minor and extended their influence right down to Palestine and even Egypt. Later, the Byzantines were unable to extract any more assistance, and the Fourth Crusade even led to the sack of Constantinople. Before the conflict petered out, the Seljuqs managed to take more territory from the weakened Empire of Nicaea until the Sultanate itself was taken over by the Mongols, leading to the rise of the ghazis and the conclusive Byzantine–Ottoman wars.

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Ancient bracelet, Achaemenid period
Credit: Shauni

Ancient bracelet, Achaemenid period, part of Oxus Treasure, 500 BCE, Iran

In this month

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Selected biography

A 1991 photo of Sadruddin Aga Khan by Erling Mandelmann
Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan (1933–2003) served as United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees from 1966 to 1978, during which he reoriented the agency's focus beyond Europe and prepared it for an explosion of complex refugee issues. He was also a proponent of greater collaboration between non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and UN agencies. The Prince's interest in ecological issues led him to establish the Bellerive Foundation in the late 1970s, and he was a knowledgeable and respected collector of Islamic art. Born in Paris, France, he was the son of Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan and Princess Andrée Aga Khan. He received his early education in Lausanne, Switzerland, before graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 1954 from Harvard College. He married twice, but had no children of his own. Prince Sadruddin died of cancer at the age of 70, and was buried in Switzerland.

In the news

Wikinews Iran portal
Read and edit Wikinews
27 March 2020 – 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic
2020 coronavirus pandemic in Iran
In Iran, 300 people die and 1,000 people become ill after drinking methanol to save themselves from COVID-19. (Star Tribune)
26 March 2020 – Iran–United States relations, Iraq–United States relations
The United States Treasury Secretary imposes fresh sanctions on Iran, blacklisting 20 Iran- and Iraq-linked companies and individuals. (Reuters)
23 March 2020 – United Arab Emirates–United States relations, 2019–20 Persian Gulf crisis
The United States Marine Corps and the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces hold military exercises amid tensions with Iran. (ABC News)
20 March 2020 – 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic
2020 coronavirus pandemic in Iran
Iran's Ministry of Health and Medical Education says the country's COVID-19 death toll stands at 1,433, and confirms 1,237 new cases, bringing the total number of cases to 19,644 and 1,433 deaths. (Anadolu Agency)

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Mohammad Khatami
I come from the noble land of Iran, representing a great and renowned nation, famous for its age old civilization as well as its distinguished contribution to the founding and expansion of the Islamic civilization; a nation that has survived the strong winds of despotism, reactionism and submission, relying on its cultural and human wealth; a nation which pioneered in the East the establishment of civil society and constitutional government in the course of its contemporary history, even though as a result of foreign interference and domestic deficiencies, at times it may have faltered in its course; a nation which has been at the forefront of the struggle for independence and against colonialism, though its national movement was subverted by a foreign- orchestrated coup. And, a nation which carries the torch of its popular revolution, not won by force of arms or a coup, but by dethroning of the regime of coup d'etat through the power of "word" and "enlightenment". In the course of its new experience, our nation has endured eight years of an imposed war, pressure, sanctions and various allegations. It has also fallen victim to terrorism, this ominous and sinister phenomenon of the twentieth century.
Mohammad Khatami, President of Iran, (1997-2005)

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