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After graduation, one of her relatives who was the Theater Affairs Assistant in "Soureh" college introduced her to "Hannaneh" Art institute.

Having studied video edition in the following years, she Actress Shahs of Sunset. Actress Hotel Mumbai.

Nazanin Boniadi is rapidly making her mark in both film and television. Actress Asre Yakhbandan. Mahtab Keramati was born on October 17, in Tehran, Iran.

She is an actress and producer, known for Ice Age , Twenty and Orca. An award-winning international film actress and producer, Saye has been in over 34 films and Actress Necar Zadegan is a versatile actress known for a career on stage and screen.

She stars Teni Panosian was born on July 16, in Iran. Actress Aladdin. Nasim Pedrad born November 18, is an American actress and comedian best known for her five seasons as a cast member on Saturday Night Live from to Actress The Machine.

Pooneh Hajimohammadi was born in Iran. Actress KDD - Kriminaldauerdienst. Melika Foroutan was born in in Teheran, Iran. Actress Legends of Tomorrow.

She was recently Actress Der Letzte Mieter. Pegah Ferydoni was born on June 25, in Tehran, Iran. Actress Paterson. Golshifteh started her acting career in theater at the age of 6 and has always kept a strong link with theater, but it was at the age of 14 that she acted in her first film The Pear Tree , for which she won the prize for the Best Actress from the international section of the Fajr film Actress House of Sand and Fog.

In the s at age 20, she achieved nationwide stardom in her homeland of Iran, starring in some prominent pictures such as Le rapport directed by the renowned Abbas Kiarostami , which won critics awards at the Actress Saw III.

She is the daughter of Manijeh and Hamid Soomekh, who owned a women's high fashion company. She has a sister, Saba Soomekh.

The family moved to Los Angeles in , to escape the Iranian revolution. She attended a Actress Jodaeiye Nader az Simin. During her childhood, she appeared in several of her father's films including the historical TV series, Hezardastan , Actress Under the Shadow.

Narges Rashidi was born in Iran, settled in with her family at first in Turkey and a year later to Germany. After graduation she moved to Berlin and studied acting.

In she received the award for Best Young Actress at the Sareh Bayat was born and raised in Tehran, Iran. Baharak Salehniya is a renowned Iranian actress; She boldly decided to leave her homeland objecting forced Hijab rule in Iran.

Baharak was born in Iran, She entered Arak University to study "Film Directing" in A while later she dropped out of university as a result of lack of the ground Actress Forushande.

Mina Sadati born in November 24, in Kashan is an Iranian stage, film and television actress. She was winner in the category "best supporting actress" at the 8th Beijing International Film Festival for her Actress The President's Cell Phone.

Actress Rendition. She is an actress, director, producer, published author, documentary filmmaker, a classically trained pianist, composer and a human rights activist.

Since the earliest second millennium BC, Assyrians settled in swaths of western Iran and incorporated the region into their territories.

By the second millennium BC, the ancient Iranian peoples arrived in what is now Iran from the Eurasian Steppe , [74] rivaling the native settlers of the region.

From the late 10th to the late seventh century BC, the Iranian peoples, together with the "pre-Iranian" kingdoms, fell under the domination of the Assyrian Empire , based in northern Mesopotamia.

The conquest of Media was a result of what is called the Persian Revolt. The brouhaha was initially triggered by the actions of the Median ruler Astyages , and was quickly spread to other provinces, as they allied with the Persians.

Later conquests under Cyrus and his successors expanded the empire to include Lydia , Babylon , Egypt , parts of the Balkans and Eastern Europe proper, as well as the lands to the west of the Indus and Oxus rivers.

Cyrus entered Babylon and presented himself as a traditional Mesopotamian monarch. Subsequent Achaemenid art and iconography reflect the influence of the new political reality in Mesopotamia.

It is estimated that in BC, 50 million people lived in the Achaemenid Empire. The Achaemenid Empire is noted for the release of the Jewish exiles in Babylon , [84] building infrastructures such as the Royal Road and the Chapar postal service , and the use of an official language , Imperial Aramaic , throughout its territories.

Eventual conflict on the western borders began with the Ionian Revolt , which erupted into the Greco-Persian Wars and continued through the first half of the fifth century BC, and ended with the withdrawal of the Achaemenids from all of the territories in the Balkans and Eastern Europe proper.

Following the premature death of Alexander, Iran came under the control of the Hellenistic Seleucid Empire. In the middle of the second century BC, the Parthian Empire rose to become the main power in Iran, and the century-long geopolitical arch-rivalry between the Romans and the Parthians began, culminating in the Roman—Parthian Wars.

The Sasanians established an empire within the frontiers achieved by the Achaemenids, with their capital at Ctesiphon. Late antiquity is considered one of Iran's most influential periods, as under the Sasanians their influence reached the culture of ancient Rome and through that as far as Western Europe , [89] [90] Africa , [91] China , and India , [92] and played a prominent role in the formation of the medieval art of both Europe and Asia.

Most of the era of the Sasanian Empire was overshadowed by the Roman—Persian Wars , which raged on the western borders at Anatolia, the Western Caucasus , Mesopotamia, and the Levant , for over years.

These wars ultimately exhausted both the Romans and the Sasanians and led to the defeat of both by the Muslim invasion. Throughout the Achaemenid, Parthian, and Sasanian eras, several offshoots of the Iranian dynasties established eponymous branches in Anatolia and the Caucasus, including the Pontic Kingdom , the Mihranids , and the Arsacid dynasties of Armenia , Iberia Georgia , and Caucasian Albania present-day Republic of Azerbaijan and southern Dagestan.

The prolonged Byzantine—Sasanian wars , most importantly the climactic war of — , as well as the social conflict within the Sasanian Empire , opened the way for an Arab invasion of Iran in the seventh century.

A prolonged and gradual process of state-imposed Islamization followed, which targeted Iran's then Zoroastrian majority and included religious persecution, [96] [97] [98] demolition of libraries [99] and fire temples, [] a special tax penalty " jizya " , [] [] and language shift.

In , the Abbasids overthrew the Umayyads, notably by the support from the " mawali " converted Iranians. After two centuries of Arab rule, semi-independent and independent Iranian kingdoms—including the Tahirids , Saffarids , Samanids , and Buyids —began to appear on the fringes of the declining Abbasid Caliphate.

By the Samanid era in the ninth and 10th centuries, the efforts of Iranians to regain their independence had been well solidified.

The blossoming literature , philosophy , mathematics , medicine , astronomy and art of Iran became major elements in the formation of a new age for the Iranian civilization, during a period known as the Islamic Golden Age.

Among Iran's famous medieval scientists, Al-Khwarizmi whose name was Latinized as Algoritmi gave a significant role in the development of the Arabic numerals and algebra through his 9th-century work On the Calculation with Hindu Numerals that is globally adopted as the modern numerical system.

The cultural revival that began in the Abbasid period led to a resurfacing of the Iranian national identity ; thus, the attempts of Arabization never succeeded in Iran.

The Shu'ubiyya movement became a catalyst for Iranians to regain independence in their relations with the Arab invaders. In , large portions of Iran came briefly under the rule of the Ghaznavids , whose rulers were of mamluk Turkic origin, and longer subsequently under the Seljuk and Khwarezmian empires.

These dynasties had been Persianized , and had adopted Persian models of administration and rulership. From to , under the Khwarazmian Empire, Iran suffered a devastating invasion by the Mongol army of Genghis Khan.

According to Steven R. Ward, " Mongol violence and depredations killed up to three-fourths of the population of the Iranian Plateau, possibly 10 to 15 million people.

Some historians have estimated that Iran's population did not again reach its pre-Mongol levels until the midth century.

In , yet another conqueror, Timur , followed the example of Hulagu, establishing the Timurid Empire which lasted for another years. In , Timur ordered the complete massacre of Isfahan , reportedly killing 70, citizens.

As a result, modern-day Iran is the only official Shia nation of the world, with it holding an absolute majority in Iran and the Republic of Azerbaijan , having there the first and the second highest number of Shia inhabitants by population percentage in the world.

The Safavid era peaked in the reign of Abbas I — , [] [] surpassing their Turkish archrivals in strength, and making Iran a leading science and art hub in western Eurasia.

The Safavid era saw the start of mass integration from Caucasian populations into new layers of the society of Iran, as well as mass resettlement of them within the heartlands of Iran, playing a pivotal role in the history of Iran for centuries onwards.

Following a gradual decline in the late s and the early s, which was caused by internal conflicts, the continuous wars with the Ottomans, and the foreign interference most notably the Russian interference , the Safavid rule was ended by the Pashtun rebels who besieged Isfahan and defeated Sultan Husayn in In , Nader Shah , a chieftain and military genius from Khorasan , successfully drove out and conquered the Pashtun invaders.

He subsequently took back the annexed Caucasian territories which were divided among the Ottoman and Russian authorities by the ongoing chaos in Iran.

During the reign of Nader Shah, Iran reached its greatest extent since the Sasanian Empire, reestablishing the Iranian hegemony all over the Caucasus , as well as other major parts of the west and central Asia , and briefly possessing what was arguably the most powerful empire at the time.

Nader Shah invaded India and sacked far off Delhi by the late s. His territorial expansion, as well as his military successes, went into a decline following the final campaigns in the Northern Caucasus against then revolting Lezgins.

The assassination of Nader Shah sparked a brief period of civil war and turmoil, after which Karim Khan of the Zand dynasty came to power in , bringing a period of relative peace and prosperity.

Compared to its preceding dynasties, the geopolitical reach of the Zand dynasty was limited. Many of the Iranian territories in the Caucasus gained de facto autonomy, and were locally ruled through various Caucasian khanates.

However, despite the self-ruling, they all remained subjects and vassals to the Zand king. In , following the disobedience of the Georgian subjects and their alliance with the Russians , the Qajars captured Tbilisi by the Battle of Krtsanisi , and drove the Russians out of the entire Caucasus, reestablishing the Iranian suzerainty over the region.

The Russo-Iranian wars of — and — resulted in large irrevocable territorial losses for Iran in the Caucasus, comprising all of Transcaucasia and Dagestan , which made part of the very concept of Iran for centuries, [24] and thus substantial gains for the neighboring Russian Empire.

As a result of the 19th-century Russo-Iranian wars, the Russians took over the Caucasus, and Iran irrevocably lost control over its integral territories in the region comprising modern-day Dagestan, Georgia , Armenia , and Republic of Azerbaijan , which got confirmed per the treaties of Gulistan and Turkmenchay.

As Iran shrank, many Transcaucasian and North Caucasian Muslims moved towards Iran, [] [] especially until the aftermath of the Circassian Genocide , [] and the decades afterwards, while Iran's Armenians were encouraged to settle in the newly incorporated Russian territories, [] [] [] causing significant demographic shifts.

Around 1. Between and , a series of protests took place in response to the sale of concessions to foreigners by Qajar monarchs Naser-ed-Din and Mozaffar-ed-Din , and led to the Constitutional Revolution in The first Iranian constitution and the first national parliament of Iran were founded in , through the ongoing revolution.

The Constitution included the official recognition of Iran's three religious minorities, namely Christians , Jews , and Zoroastrians , [] which has remained a basis in the legislation of Iran since then.

The struggle related to the constitutional movement was followed by the Triumph of Tehran in , when Mohammad Ali Shah was defeated and forced to abdicate.

On the pretext of restoring order, the Russians occupied northern Iran in and maintained a military presence in the region for years to come. But this did not put an end to the civil uprisings and was soon followed by Mirza Kuchik Khan 's Jungle Movement against both the Qajar monarchy and foreign invaders.

Despite Iran's neutrality during World War I , the Ottoman , Russian and British empires occupied the territory of western Iran and fought the Persian Campaign before fully withdrawing their forces in At least 2 million Persian civilians died either directly in the fighting, the Ottoman perpetrated anti-Christian genocides or the war induced famine of A large number of Iranian Assyrian and Iranian Armenian Christians, as well as those Muslims who tried to protect them, were victims of mass murders committed by the invading Ottoman troops , notably in and around Khoy , Maku , Salmas , and Urmia.

Apart from the rule of Agha Mohammad Khan, the Qajar rule is characterized as a century of misrule. Reza Shah, became the new Prime Minister of Iran and was declared the new monarch in The Soviets quickly allied themselves with the Allied countries and in July and August, the British demanded that the Iranian government expel all Germans from Iran.

Reza Shah refused to expel the Germans and on 25 August , the British and Soviets launched a surprise invasion and Reza Shah's government quickly surrendered.

Following the invasion, on 16 September Reza Shah abdicated and was replaced by Mohammad Reza Pahlavi , his 21 year old son.

Roosevelt , and Winston Churchill —issued the Tehran Declaration to guarantee the post-war independence and boundaries of Iran. However, at the end of the war, Soviet troops remained in Iran and established two puppet states in north-western Iran, namely the People's Government of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Mahabad.

This led to the Iran crisis of , one of the first confrontations of the Cold War , which ended after oil concessions were promised to the USSR and Soviet forces withdrew from Iran proper in May The two puppet states were soon overthrown and the oil concessions were later revoked.

In , Mohammad Mosaddegh was appointed as the Prime Minister. He became enormously popular in Iran after he nationalized Iran's petroleum industry and oil reserves.

After the coup, the Shah became increasingly autocratic and sultanistic , and Iran entered a phase of decades-long controversial close relations with the United States and some other foreign governments.

Ruhollah Khomeini , a radical Muslim cleric, became an active critic of the Shah's far-reaching series of reforms known as the White Revolution.

Khomeini publicly denounced the government, and was arrested and imprisoned for 18 months. After his release in , he refused to apologize, and was eventually sent into exile.

Due to the spike in oil prices , the economy of Iran was flooded with foreign currency, which caused inflation. By , the economy of Iran was experiencing double digit inflation, and despite the many large projects to modernize the country, corruption was rampant and caused large amounts of waste.

By and , an economic recession led to increased unemployment, especially among millions of youths who had migrated to the cities of Iran looking for construction jobs during the boom years of the early s.

By the late s, many of these people opposed the Shah's regime and began to organize and join the protests against it. The Revolution , later known as the Islamic Revolution , [] [] [] began in January with the first major demonstrations against the Shah.

The immediate nationwide uprisings against the new government began with the Kurdish rebellion and the Khuzestan uprisings , along with the uprisings in Sistan and Baluchestan and other areas.

Over the next several years, these uprisings were subdued in a violent manner by the new Islamic government. The new government began purging itself of the non-Islamist political opposition , as well as of those Islamists who were not considered radical enough.

Although both nationalists and Marxists had initially joined with Islamists to overthrow the Shah, tens of thousands were executed by the new regime afterwards.

On 4 November , a group of Muslim students seized the United States Embassy and took the embassy with 52 personnel and citizens hostage , [] after the United States refused to extradite Mohammad Reza Pahlavi to Iran, where his execution was all but assured.

Attempts by the Jimmy Carter administration to negotiate for the release of the hostages , and a failed rescue attempt , helped force Carter out of office and brought Ronald Reagan to power.

On Jimmy Carter's final day in office, the last hostages were finally set free as a result of the Algiers Accords. Mohammad Reza Pahlavi left the United States for Egypt, where he died of complications from cancer only months later, on 27 July The Cultural Revolution began in , with an initial closure of universities for three years, in order to perform an inspection and clean up in the cultural policy of the education and training system.

Although the forces of Saddam Hussein made several early advances, by mid , the Iranian forces successfully managed to drive the Iraqi army back into Iraq.

In July , with Iraq thrown on the defensive, the regime of Iran took the decision to invade Iraq and conducted countless offensives in a bid to conquer Iraqi territory and capture cities, such as Basra.

The war continued until when the Iraqi army defeated the Iranian forces inside Iraq and pushed the remaining Iranian troops back across the border.

Subsequently, Khomeini accepted a truce mediated by the United Nations. Following the Iran—Iraq War, in , Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and his administration concentrated on a pragmatic pro-business policy of rebuilding and strengthening the economy without making any dramatic break with the ideology of the revolution.

In , Rafsanjani was succeeded by moderate reformist Mohammad Khatami , whose government attempted, unsuccessfully, to make the country more free and democratic.

The presidential election brought conservative populist candidate, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad , to power. Hassan Rouhani was elected as the president on 15 June , defeating Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf and four other candidates.

The —18 Iranian protests swept across the country against the government and its longtime Supreme Leader in response to the economic and political situation.

On 3 January , the revolutionary guard's general, Qasem Soleimani , was assassinated by the United States in Iraq , which considerably heightened the existing tensions between the two countries.

An international investigation led to the government admitting to the shootdown of the plane by a surface-to-air missile after three days of denial, calling it a "human error".

Iran consists of the Iranian Plateau , with the exception of the coasts of the Caspian Sea and Khuzestan. It is one of the world's most mountainous countries, its landscape dominated by rugged mountain ranges that separate various basins or plateaux from one another.

The northern part of Iran is covered by the lush lowland Caspian Hyrcanian mixed forests , located near the southern shores of the Caspian Sea.

The eastern part consists mostly of desert basins, such as the Kavir Desert , which is the country's largest desert, and the Lut Desert , as well as some salt lakes.

The only large plains are found along the coast of the Caspian Sea and at the northern end of the Persian Gulf, where the country borders the mouth of the Arvand river.

Smaller, discontinuous plains are found along the remaining coast of the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz , and the Gulf of Oman.

Having 11 climates out of the world's 13, Iran's climate is diverse, [] ranging from arid and semi-arid , to subtropical along the Caspian coast and the northern forests.

Gary Lewis, the United Nations Resident Coordinator for Iran, has said that "Water scarcity poses the most severe human security challenge in Iran today".

To the west, settlements in the Zagros basin experience lower temperatures, severe winters with below zero average daily temperatures and heavy snowfall.

The wildlife of Iran is composed of several animal species, including bears , the Eurasian lynx , foxes , gazelles , gray wolves , jackals , panthers , and wild pigs.

Eagles , falcons , partridges , pheasants , and storks are also native to the wildlife of Iran. One of the most famous members of the Iranian wildlife is the critically endangered Asiatic cheetah , also known as the Iranian cheetah , whose numbers were greatly reduced after the Revolution.

At least 74 species of the Iranian wildlife are on the red list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature , a sign of serious threats against the country's biodiversity.

The Iranian Parliament has been showing disregard for wildlife by passing laws and regulations such as the act that lets the Ministry of Industries and Mines exploit mines without the involvement of the Department of Environment , and by approving large national development projects without demanding comprehensive study of their impact on wildlife habitats.

The country has one of the highest urban growth rates in the world. Tehran, with a population of around 8.

It is an economical and cultural center, and is the hub of the country's communication and transport network. The country's second most populous city, Mashhad , has a population of around 3.

About 15 to 20 million pilgrims visit the shrine every year. Isfahan has a population of around 2. It is the capital of the province of Isfahan , and was also the third capital of the Safavid Empire.

It is home to a wide variety of historical sites, including the famous Shah Square , Siosepol , and the churches at the Armenian district of New Julfa.

It is also home to the world's seventh largest shopping mall , Isfahan City Center. The fourth most populous city of Iran, Karaj , has a population of around 1.

It is a major industrial city in Iran, with large factories producing sugar, textiles, wire, and alcohol. With a population of around 1.

It was the first capital of the Safavid Empire, and is now the capital of the province of East Azerbaijan. It is also considered the country's second major industrial city after Tehran.

Shiraz , with a population of around 1. It is the capital of the province of Fars , and was also the capital of Iran under the reign of the Zand dynasty.

It is located near the ruins of Persepolis and Pasargadae , two of the four capitals of the Achaemenid Empire.

The political system of the Islamic Republic is based on the Constitution. The regime in Iran is undemocratic, [] [] has frequently persecuted and arrested critics of the government and its Supreme Leader, and severely restricts the participation of candidates in popular elections as well as other forms of political activity.

Over the past decade, numbers of anti-government protests have broken out throughout Iran such as the —20 Iranian protests , demanding reforms or the end to the Islamic Republic.

However, the IRGC and police often suppressed mass protests by violent means, which resulted in thousands of protesters killed.

The Leader of the Revolution "Supreme Leader" is responsible for delineation and supervision of the policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Through this process, known as Tanfiz validation , the Leader agrees to the outcome of the presidential election.

All of Iran's ambassadors to Arab countries, for example, are chosen by the Quds Corps, which directly reports to the Supreme Leader. The Supreme Leader is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces , controls the military intelligence and security operations, and has sole power to declare war or peace.

The Assembly of Experts is responsible for electing the Supreme Leader, and has the power to dismiss him on the basis of qualifications and popular esteem.

For example, Khamenei publicly called then-member of the Assembly of Experts Ahmad Azari Qomi a traitor, resulting in Qomi's arrest and eventual dismissal from the Assembly of Experts.

Another instance is when Khamenei indirectly called Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani a traitor for a statement he made, causing Rafsanjani to retract it.

Presidential candidates and parliamentary candidates must be approved by the Guardian Council all members of which are directly or indirectly appointed by the Leader or the Leader before running, in order to ensure their allegiance to the Supreme Leader.

The Leader can also revert the decisions of the Guardian Council. After the Supreme Leader, the Constitution defines the President of Iran as the highest state authority.

The Leader also has the power to dismiss the elected president anytime. The President is responsible for the implementation of the constitution, and for the exercise of executive powers in implementing the decrees and general policies as outlined by the Supreme Leader, except for matters directly related to the Supreme Leader, who has the final say in all matters.

The procedures for presidential election and all other elections in Iran are outlined by the Supreme Leader. The President appoints the ministers, subject to the approval of the Parliament, as well as the approval of the Supreme Leader, who can dismiss or reinstate any of the ministers at any time, regardless of the decisions made by the President or the Parliament.

The legislature of Iran, known as the Islamic Consultative Assembly , is a unicameral body comprising members elected for four-year terms. All parliamentary candidates and all legislation from the assembly must be approved by the Guardian Council.

The Guardian Council comprises twelve jurists, including six appointed by the Supreme Leader. Others are elected by the Parliament, from among the jurists nominated by the Head of the Judiciary.

If a law is deemed incompatible with the constitution or Sharia Islamic law , it is referred back to the Parliament for revision.

The Supreme Leader appoints the head of the country's judiciary, who in turn appoints the head of the Supreme Court and the chief public prosecutor.

The decisions of the revolutionary courts are final and cannot be appealed. The Special Clerical Court handles crimes allegedly committed by clerics , although it has also taken on cases involving laypeople.

The Special Clerical Court functions independently of the regular judicial framework, and is accountable only to the Supreme Leader.

The Court's rulings are final and cannot be appealed. The officially stated goal of the government of Iran is to establish a new world order based on world peace , global collective security , and justice.

Since , Iran's nuclear program has become the subject of contention with the international community, mainly the United States.

Many countries have expressed concern that Iran's nuclear program could divert civilian nuclear technology into a weapons program.

This has led the United Nations Security Council to impose sanctions against Iran which had further isolated Iran politically and economically from the rest of the global community.

In , the U. Director of National Intelligence said that Iran, if choosing to, would not be able to develop a nuclear weapon until As of [update] , the government of Iran maintains diplomatic relations with 99 members of the United Nations, [] but not with the United States , and not with Israel —a state which Iran's government has derecognized since the Revolution.

In April the U. On 1 September , the Iranian authorities took a step to enhance its relations with Qatar , and decided to grant Qatari passport holders tourist visas upon arrival at Iranian airports.

Besides, Qatari nationals were also permitted to obtain a single or multiple-entry visa from Iran's embassy in Doha. The Islamic Republic of Iran has two types of armed forces: the regular forces of the Army , the Air Force , and the Navy , and the Revolutionary Guards , totaling about , active troops.

Iran also has around , Reserve Force, totaling around , trained troops. The government of Iran has a paramilitary, volunteer militia force within the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps , called the Basij , which includes about 90, full-time, active-duty uniformed members.

Up to 11 million men and women are members of the Basij who could potentially be called up for service.

It is the first time that an element of a foreign state was designated as a terrorist organization. The government of Iran supports the military activities of its allies in Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon Hezbollah with military and financial aid.

Since the Revolution, to overcome foreign embargoes, the government of Iran has developed its own military industry, produced its own tanks , armored personnel carriers , missiles , submarines , military vessels, missile destroyer , radar systems, helicopters , and fighter planes.

At that time every male person who had reached 21 years old must serve for military for two years. The conscription exempted women from military service after revolution.

Iranian constitution obliges all men of 18 years old and higher to serve in military or police bases. They cannot leave the country or be employed without completion of the service period.

Inappropriate situation of Iranian soldiers has caused violent incidents in recent years. Iran's economy is a mixture of central planning , state ownership of oil and other large enterprises, village agriculture, and small-scale private trading and service ventures.

The Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for developing and maintaining the Iranian rial , which serves as the country's currency.

The government does not recognize trade unions other than the Islamic labour councils , which are subject to the approval of employers and the security services.

The objective is to move towards free market prices in a five-year period and increase productivity and social justice.

The administration continues to follow the market reform plans of the previous one, and indicates that it will diversify Iran's oil-reliant economy.

Iran has also developed a biotechnology , nanotechnology , and pharmaceutical industry. Currently, the government is trying to privatize these industries , and, despite successes, there are still several problems to be overcome, such as the lagging corruption in the public sector and lack of competitiveness.

Iran has leading manufacturing industries in the fields of automobile manufacture, transportation, construction materials, home appliances, food and agricultural goods, armaments, pharmaceuticals, information technology, and petrochemicals in the Middle East.

Economic sanctions against Iran , such as the embargo against Iranian crude oil, have affected the economy. Although tourism declined significantly during the war with Iraq, it has been subsequently recovered.

Over five million tourists visited Iran in the fiscal year of —, four percent more than the previous year.

Alongside the capital, the most popular tourist destinations are Isfahan , Mashhad , and Shiraz. In , Iran ranked 68th in tourism revenues worldwide.

Iran has the world's second largest proved gas reserves after Russia , with It also ranks fourth in oil reserves with an estimated ,,, barrels.

In the early s, industry infrastructure was increasingly inefficient because of technological lags. Few exploratory wells were drilled in In , a large share of Iran's natural gas reserves were untapped.

The addition of new hydroelectric stations and the streamlining of conventional coal and oil-fired stations increased installed capacity to 33, megawatts.

In , Iran opened its first wind-powered and geothermal plants, and the first solar thermal plant was to come online in Iran is the world's third country to have developed GTL technology.

The government's goal of 53, megawatts of installed capacity by is to be reached by bringing on line new gas-fired plants , and adding hydropower and nuclear power generation capacity.

Iran's first nuclear power plant at Bushire went online in In Fatih Birol the head of the International Energy Agency said that fossil fuel subsidies should be redirected, for example to the health system.

Education in Iran is highly centralized. K—12 is supervised by the Ministry of Education , and higher education is under the supervision of the Ministry of Science and Technology.

The adult literacy rated The completion of the pre-university course earns students the Pre-University Certificate.

Iran has increased its publication output nearly tenfold from through , and has been ranked first in terms of output growth rate, followed by China.

The Iranian nuclear program was launched in the s. Iran is the seventh country to produce uranium hexafluoride , and controls the entire nuclear fuel cycle.

Iranian scientists outside Iran have also made some major contributions to science. In , Ali Javan co-invented the first gas laser , and fuzzy set theory was introduced by Lotfi A.

Furthering research and treatment of diabetes, the HbA1c was discovered by Samuel Rahbar. Iranian physics is especially strong in string theory , with many papers being published in Iran.

In August , Iranian mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani became the first woman, as well as the first Iranian, to receive the Fields Medal , the highest prize in mathematics.

Iran is a diverse country, consisting of numerous ethnic and linguistic groups that are unified through a shared Iranian nationality. Iran hosts one of the largest refugee populations in the world, with almost one million refugees, [] mostly from Afghanistan and Iraq.

According to the Iranian Constitution , the government is required to provide every citizen of the country with access to social security , covering retirement, unemployment, old age, disability , accidents, calamities, health and medical treatment and care services.

The majority of the population speak Persian , which is also the official language of the country. Others include speakers of a number of other Iranian languages within the greater Indo-European family, and languages belonging to some other ethnicities living in Iran.

In northern Iran, mostly confined to Gilan and Mazenderan , the Gilaki and Mazenderani languages are widely spoken, both having affinities to the neighboring Caucasian languages.

In parts of Gilan, the Talysh language is also widely spoken, which stretches up to the neighboring Republic of Azerbaijan.

Varieties of Kurdish are widely spoken in the province of Kurdistan and nearby areas. In Khuzestan , several distinct varieties of Persian are spoken.

Luri and Lari are also spoken in southern Iran. Azerbaijani , which is by far the most spoken language in the country after Persian, [] as well as a number of other Turkic languages and dialects, is spoken in various regions of Iran, especially in the region of Azerbaijan.

Circassian was also once widely spoken by the large Circassian minority, but, due to assimilation over the many years, no sizable number of Circassians speak the language anymore.

Percentages of spoken language continue to be a point of debate, as many opt that they are politically motivated; most notably regarding the largest and second largest ethnicities in Iran, the Persians and Azerbaijanis.

As with the spoken languages, the ethnic group composition also remains a point of debate, mainly regarding the largest and second largest ethnic groups, the Persians and Azerbaijanis, due to the lack of Iranian state censuses based on ethnicity.

Qashqai and Turkmens , and non-Iranian, non-Turkic groups incl. Other nongovernmental estimates regarding the groups other than Persians and Azerbaijanis are roughly congruent with the World Factbook and the Library of Congress.

However, many estimates regarding the number of these two groups differ significantly from the mentioned census; some place the number of ethnic Azerbaijanis in Iran between Historically, early Iranian religions such as the Proto-Iranic religion and the subsequent Zoroastrianism and Manichaeism were the dominant religions in Iran, particularly during the Median, Achaemenid, Parthian, and Sasanian eras.

This changed after the fall of the Sasanian Empire by the centuries-long Islamization that followed the Muslim Conquest of Iran. Iran was predominantly Sunni until the conversion of the country as well as the people of what is today the neighboring Republic of Azerbaijan to Shia Islam by the order of the Safavid dynasty in the 16th century.

There are about 3,, adherents of Yarsanism , a Kurdish indigenous religion related to Zoroastrianism : making it the largest unrecognized minority religion in Iran.

Its followers are mainly Gorani Kurds and certain groups of Lurs. Judaism has a long history in Iran , dating back to the Achaemenid conquest of Babylonia.

Although many left in the wake of the establishment of the State of Israel and the Revolution, about 8, [] to 25, [] Jewish people live in Iran.

Iran has the largest Jewish population in the Middle East outside of Israel. Around , to , Christians reside in Iran, [] [] and Christianity is the country's largest recognized minority religion.

Most are of Armenian background, as well as a sizable minority of Assyrians. Christianity, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, and the Sunni branch of Islam are officially recognized by the government, and have reserved seats in the Iranian Parliament.

The earliest attested cultures in Iran date back to the Lower Paleolithic. Owing to its geopolitical position, Iran has influenced cultures as far as Greece and Italy to the west, Russia to the north, the Arabian Peninsula to the south, and south and east Asia to the east.

The art of Iran encompasses many disciplines, including architecture , stonemasonry , metalworking , weaving , pottery , painting , and calligraphy.

Iranian works of art show a great variety in style, in different regions and periods. Greek iconography was imported by the Seleucids , followed by the recombination of Hellenistic and earlier Near Eastern elements in the art of the Parthians , [] with remains such as the Temple of Anahita and the Statue of the Parthian Nobleman.

By the time of the Sasanians, Iranian art came across a general renaissance. During the Middle Ages, Sasanian art played a prominent role in the formation of both European and Asian medieval art, [93] which carried forward to the Islamic world , and much of what later became known as Islamic learning—including medicine , architecture , philosophy , philology , and literature —were of Sasanian basis.

The Safavid era is known as the Golden Age of Iranian art, [] and Safavid works of art show a far more unitary development than in any other period, [] as part of a political evolution that reunified Iran as a cultural entity.

Iran's contemporary art traces its origins back to the time of Kamal-ol-Molk , [] a prominent realist painter at the court of the Qajar dynasty who affected the norms of painting and adopted a naturalistic style that would compete with photographic works.

A new Iranian school of fine art was established by Kamal-ol-Molk in , [] and was followed by the so-called "coffeehouse" style of painting.

Iran's avant-garde modernists emerged by the arrival of new western influences during World War II.

The history of architecture in Iran goes back to the seventh millennium BC. Iranian architecture displays great variety, both structural and aesthetic, developing gradually and coherently out of earlier traditions and experience.

Iran ranks seventh among UNESCO 's list of countries with the most archaeological ruins and attractions from antiquity. Traditionally, the guiding formative motif of Iranian architecture has been its cosmic symbolism "by which man is brought into communication and participation with the powers of heaven".

According to Persian historian and archaeologist Arthur Pope , the supreme Iranian art, in the proper meaning of the word, has always been its architecture.

The supremacy of architecture applies to both pre- and post-Islamic periods. Iran's carpet-weaving has its origins in the Bronze Age, and is one of the most distinguished manifestations of Iranian art.

Iran's oldest literary tradition is that of Avestan , the Old Iranian sacred language of the Avesta , which consists of the legendary and religious texts of Zoroastrianism and the ancient Iranian religion , with its earliest records dating back to the pre-Achaemenid times.

Of the various modern languages used in Iran, Persian , various dialects of which are spoken throughout the Iranian Plateau, [] [] has the most influential literature.

Persian has been dubbed as a worthy language to serve as a conduit for poetry, and is considered one of the four main bodies of world literature.

Iranian philosophy originates from Indo-European roots, with Zoroaster 's reforms having major influences. According to The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy , the chronology of the subject and science of philosophy starts with the Indo-Iranians, dating this event to BC.

The Oxford dictionary also states, "Zarathushtra's philosophy entered to influence Western tradition through Judaism, and therefore on Middle Platonism.

While there are ancient relations between the Indian Vedas and the Iranian Avesta , the two main families of the Indo-Iranian philosophical traditions were characterized by fundamental differences, especially in their implications for the human being's position in society and their view of man's role in the universe.

The Cyrus Cylinder , which is known as "the first charter of human rights ", is often seen as a reflection of the questions and thoughts expressed by Zoroaster, and developed in Zoroastrian schools of the Achaemenid era.

Among them are treatises such as the Zatspram, Shkand-gumanik Vizar , and Denkard , as well as older passages of the Avesta and the Gathas.

Iranian mythology consists of ancient Iranian folklore and stories, all involving extraordinary beings, reflecting attitudes towards the confrontation of good and evil , actions of the gods, and the exploits of heroes and fabulous creatures.

Myths play a crucial part in Iranian culture, and understanding of them is increased when they are considered within the context of actual events in Iranian history.

The geography of Greater Iran, a vast area covering present-day Iran, the Caucasus, Anatolia, Mesopotamia and Central Asia, with its high mountain ranges, plays the main role in much of Iranian mythology.

It draws heavily on the stories and characters of the Zoroastrian tradition, from the texts of the Avesta , the Denkard , and the Bundahishn.

Iran is the apparent birthplace of the earliest complex instruments, dating back to the third millennium BC.

Multiple depictions of horizontal harps were also sculpted in Assyrian palaces, dating back between and BC. Xenophon 's Cyropaedia mentions a great number of singing women at the court of the Achaemenid Empire.

Likewise, Strabo 's Geographica reports that the Parthian youth were taught songs about "the deeds both of the gods and of the noblest men".

The history of Sasanian music is better documented than the earlier periods, and is especially more evident in Avestan texts. Iranian traditional musical instruments include string instruments such as chang harp , qanun , santur , rud oud , barbat , tar , dotar , setar , tanbur , and kamanche , wind instruments such as sorna zurna , karna and ney , and percussion instruments such as tompak , kus , daf dayere , and naqare.

It was reformed by Parviz Mahmoud in , and is currently Iran's oldest and largest symphony orchestra. Later, by the late s, Ruhollah Khaleqi founded the country's first national music society, and established the School of National Music in Iranian pop music has its origins in the Qajar era.

The emergence of genres such as rock in the s and hip hop in the s also resulted in major movements and influences in Iranian music. Before the Revolution, the Iranian national stage had become a famous performing scene for known international artists and troupes, [] with the Roudaki Hall of Tehran constructed to function as the national stage for opera and ballet.

Tjeknavorian, a celebrated Iranian Armenian composer and conductor, composed it in 25 years, and it was finally performed for the first time at Tehran's Roudaki Hall, with Darya Dadvar in the role of Tahmina.

A third-millennium BC earthen goblet discovered at the Burnt City , a Bronze Age urban settlement in southeastern Iran, depicts what could possibly be the world's oldest example of animation.

The artifact, associated with Jiroft , bears five sequential images depicting a wild goat jumping up to eat the leaves of a tree.

The figures at Persepolis remain bound by the rules of grammar and syntax of visual language. It is even possible to see a progenitor of the cinematic close-up shot in one of these works of art, which shows a wounded wild pig escaping from the hunting ground.

By the early 20th century, the five-year-old industry of cinema came to Iran. Mirza Ebrahim obtained a camera and filmed the Qajar ruler's visit to Europe.

Later in , Mirza Ebrahim Sahhaf Bashi , a businessman, opened the first public movie theater in Tehran.

Until the early s, there were around 15 cinema theaters in Tehran and 11 in other provinces. Iran's animation industry began by the s, and was followed by the establishment of the influential Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults in January The majority of the production focused on melodrama and thrillers.

With the screening of the films Qeysar and The Cow , directed by Masoud Kimiai and Dariush Mehrjui respectively in , alternative films set out to establish their status in the film industry and Bahram Beyzai 's Downpour and Nasser Taghvai 's Tranquility in the Presence of Others followed soon.

Attempts to organize a film festival, which had begun in within the framework of the Golrizan Festival, resulted in the festival of Sepas in The endeavors also resulted in the formation of the Tehran's World Film Festival in After the Revolution of , and following the Cultural Revolution , a new age emerged in Iranian cinema, starting with Long Live!

Kiarostami, an acclaimed Iranian director, planted Iran firmly on the map of world cinema when he won the Palme d'Or for Taste of Cherry in Critics considered this a remarkable event in the history of Iranian cinema.

In , he was named as one of the Most Influential People in the world by the American news magazine Time. Iran's official New Year begins with Nowruz , an ancient Iranian tradition celebrated annually on the vernal equinox.

It is enjoyed by people adhering to different religions, but is considered a holiday for the Zoroastrians.

It was registered on the UNESCO 's list of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in , [] described as the Persian New Year , [] [] [] [] shared with a number of other countries in which it has historically been celebrated.

Iran's official calendar is the Solar Hejri calendar , beginning at the vernal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere , which was first enacted by the Iranian Parliament on 31 March Alternatively, the Lunar Hejri calendar is used to indicate Islamic events, and the Gregorian calendar remarks the international events.

Due to its variety of ethnic groups and the influences from the neighboring cultures, the cuisine of Iran is diverse. Herbs are frequently used, along with fruits such as plums, pomegranate, quince, prunes, apricots, and raisins.

To achieve a balanced taste, characteristic flavorings such as saffron, dried lime, cinnamon, and parsley are mixed delicately and used in some special dishes.

Onion and garlic are commonly used in the preparation of the accompanying course, but are also served separately during meals, either in raw or pickled form.

Lunch and dinner meals are commonly accompanied by side dishes such as plain yogurt or mast-o-khiar , sabzi , salad Shirazi , and torshi , and might follow dishes such as borani , Mirza Qasemi , or kashk e bademjan as the appetizer.

Being a mountainous country, Iran is a venue for skiing , snowboarding , hiking , rock climbing , [] and mountain climbing.

Iran's National Olympic Committee was founded in Wrestlers and weightlifters have achieved the country's highest records at the Olympics.

The Azadi Sport Complex , which is the largest sport complex in Iran, was originally built for this occasion. Football has been regarded as the most popular sport in Iran, with the men's national team having won the Asian Cup on three occasions.

The men's national team has maintained its position as Asia's best team, ranking 1st in Asia and 33rd in the world according to the FIFA World Rankings as of May [update].

Volleyball is the second most popular sport in Iran. Basketball is also popular, [] with men's national team having won three Asian Championships since In , Iran made global headlines for international female champions boycotting tournaments in Iran in chess U.

Iran is one of the countries with the worst freedom of the press situation, ranking th out of countries on the Press Freedom Index as of Iran's first newspapers were published during the reign of Naser al-Din Shah of the Qajar dynasty in the midth century.

The country's most widely circulated periodicals are based in Tehran, among which are Etemad , Ettela'at , Kayhan , Hamshahri , Resalat , and Shargh.

Television was introduced in Iran in Iran received access to the Internet in According to Internet World Stats, as of [update] , around According to the statistics provided by the web information company of Alexa , Google Search is Iran's most widely used search engine and Instagram is the most popular online social networking service.

Fashion in Iran is divided into several historical periods. The exact date of the emergence of weaving in Iran is not yet known, but it is likely to coincide with the emergence of civilization.

Clothing in Iran is mentioned in Persian mythology. Ferdowsi and many historians have considered Keyumars to be the inventor of the use of animals' skin and hair as clothing.

Some historians have also mentioned Hushang as the first inventor of the use of living skins as clothing. There are historical discoveries in northern Iran from about 6, BC that refer to wool weaving at the time.

Other discoveries in central Iran dating back to BC have shown that the animals' skin has not been the only clothing worn on the Iranian plateau since those years.

The clothing of ancient Iran took an advanced form, and the fabric and color of clothing became very important at that time.

Depending on the social status, eminence, climate of the region and the season, Persian clothing during the Achaemenian period took various forms.

The philosophy used in this clothing, in addition to being functional, also had an aesthetic role. Beauty pageant festivals inside Iran were not held after the revolution , and the last selection ceremony of the "beauty queen of Iran" was held in in this country.

Since then, a high number of Iranian girls participated in the Beauty pageant and Miss Universe outside of Iran.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Iran disambiguation and Persia disambiguation. Country in the Middle East.

List of languages. List of ethnicities. Unitary Khomeinist presidential Islamic republic. Main article: Name of Iran. Main article: History of Iran.

Further information: Prehistory of Iran and Archaeological sites in Iran. See also: Indo-European migrations.

Main articles: Muslim conquest of Persia and Medieval Iran. Main article: Safavid Iran. Main article: Afsharid dynasty.

Main article: Zand dynasty. Main article: Qajar Iran. Main article: Pahlavi dynasty. See also: Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran.

Main article: Geography of Iran. See also: Agriculture in Iran and Environmental issues in Iran. Hot desert climate. Cold desert climate.

Hot semi-arid climate. Cold semi-arid climate. Hot-summer Mediterranean climate. Continental Mediterranean climate.

See also: Wildlife of Iran. See also: List of Iranian cities by population. Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari. Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad.

Razavi Khorasan. Sistan and Baluchestan. North Khorasan. South Khorasan. West Azerbaijan. East Azerbaijan. Caspian Sea. Persian Gulf. Saudi Arabia. Largest cities or towns in Iran census.

Main article: Politics of Iran. Main article: Judicial system of Iran. Main article: Foreign relations of Iran. See also: Iranian involvement in the Syrian Civil War.

Main article: Economy of Iran. Main article: Tourism in Iran. Main articles: Education in Iran and Science and technology in Iran. Main article: Demographics of Iran.

See also: Healthcare in Iran. Main article: Languages of Iran. Main article: Ethnicities in Iran. The neutrality of this section is disputed.

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Main articles: Religion in Iran and Irreligion in Iran. See also: Islamization of Iran. Main article: Culture of Iran.

Main articles: Iranian art and Arts of Iran. See also: Achaemenid architecture , Parthian art , Sasanian art , Safavid art , Qajar art , and Iranian modern and contemporary art.

Main articles: Iranian architecture and Persian gardens. Ruins of the Tachara , part of the World Heritage site of Persepolis.

Main article: Persian carpet. Main articles: Literature in Iran , Iranian literature , and Persian literature. Main articles: Persian mythology and Iranian folklore.

Main article: Music of Iran. Main articles: Persian theater and Persian dance. Main articles: Cinema of Iran and History of Iranian animation.

See also: List of festivals in Iran. Main article: Public holidays in Iran. See also: Iranian calendars. Main article: Iranian cuisine.

Main article: Sport in Iran. Weightlifter Kianoush Rostami wins gold at the Summer Olympics. Taekwondo athlete Kimia Alizadeh wins bronze at the Summer Olympics.

Main article: Media of Iran. Main article: Fashion in Iran. The word also appears four times in Old Persian: One is in the Behistun inscription , where ariya- is the name of a language DB 4.

Transliteration Allahu Akbar. As referred to in art. The de facto motto however is: 'Independence, freedom, the Islamic Republic.

Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 9 January The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency United States. Retrieved 24 May Tauris, p.

The name 'Iran' disappeared from official records of the Saffarids, Samanids, Buyids, Saljuqs and their successor.

But one unofficially used the name Iran, Eranshahr, and similar national designations, particularly Mamalek-e Iran or 'Iranian lands', which exactly translated the old Avestan term Ariyanam Daihunam.

On the other hand, when the Safavids not Reza Shah, as is popularly assumed revived a national state officially known as Iran, bureaucratic usage in the Ottoman empire and even Iran itself could still refer to it by other descriptive and traditional appellations.

Newman Safavid Iran: Rebirth of a Persian Empire. Retrieved 21 June Archived from the original on 14 March Retrieved 13 September International Monetary Fund.

Retrieved 4 January Archived from the original on 9 February Retrieved 29 November United Nations Development Programme.

Retrieved 10 December Fishman, Joshua Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on 5 August Retrieved 1 August National Geographic.

Archived from the original on 12 December The Diplomat. Archived from the original on 8 December Financial Tribune.

Retrieved 28 May Tuckwell Press. Comparative Politics: Structures and Choices, 2nd ed. Cengage Learning. Retrieved 25 August Brody; Oswyn Murray; Lisa R.

Brody Encyclopedia of the ancient Greek world. Infobase Publishing. Retrieved 17 August The Jews of Arab Lands.

Jewish Publication Society. Ashgate Publishing. Encyclopaedia of Islam 2nd ed. Retrieved 27 May Iran: The Illusion of Power. London: St. Martin's Press.

Retrieved 8 August Archived from the original on 10 April Retrieved 23 January Retrieved 14 March Human Rights Watch.

UK Parliament. Retrieved 18 June Herbert Hunt 18 May Petro-Hunt LLC. Archived from the original on 3 January Retrieved 10 November Encyclopedia Iranica.

Costa Mesa: Mazda. Archived from the original on 13 March Archived from the original on 3 March Iranica website. Retrieved 30 March The New York Times.

Retrieved 26 December Archived from the original on 12 April Retrieved 26 April Archived from the original on 23 May Frye 20 October Archived from the original on 23 April LIT Verlag Münster.

The Harvard Theological Review. I use the term Iran in an historical context [ I use the term "Greater Iran" to mean what I suspect most Classicists and ancient historians really mean by their use of Persia — that which was within the political boundaries of States ruled by Iranians.

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These dynasties had been Persianized , and had adopted Persian models of administration and rulership. From to , under the Khwarazmian Empire, Iran suffered a devastating invasion by the Mongol army of Genghis Khan.

According to Steven R. Ward, " Mongol violence and depredations killed up to three-fourths of the population of the Iranian Plateau, possibly 10 to 15 million people.

Some historians have estimated that Iran's population did not again reach its pre-Mongol levels until the midth century. In , yet another conqueror, Timur , followed the example of Hulagu, establishing the Timurid Empire which lasted for another years.

In , Timur ordered the complete massacre of Isfahan , reportedly killing 70, citizens. As a result, modern-day Iran is the only official Shia nation of the world, with it holding an absolute majority in Iran and the Republic of Azerbaijan , having there the first and the second highest number of Shia inhabitants by population percentage in the world.

The Safavid era peaked in the reign of Abbas I — , [] [] surpassing their Turkish archrivals in strength, and making Iran a leading science and art hub in western Eurasia.

The Safavid era saw the start of mass integration from Caucasian populations into new layers of the society of Iran, as well as mass resettlement of them within the heartlands of Iran, playing a pivotal role in the history of Iran for centuries onwards.

Following a gradual decline in the late s and the early s, which was caused by internal conflicts, the continuous wars with the Ottomans, and the foreign interference most notably the Russian interference , the Safavid rule was ended by the Pashtun rebels who besieged Isfahan and defeated Sultan Husayn in In , Nader Shah , a chieftain and military genius from Khorasan , successfully drove out and conquered the Pashtun invaders.

He subsequently took back the annexed Caucasian territories which were divided among the Ottoman and Russian authorities by the ongoing chaos in Iran.

During the reign of Nader Shah, Iran reached its greatest extent since the Sasanian Empire, reestablishing the Iranian hegemony all over the Caucasus , as well as other major parts of the west and central Asia , and briefly possessing what was arguably the most powerful empire at the time.

Nader Shah invaded India and sacked far off Delhi by the late s. His territorial expansion, as well as his military successes, went into a decline following the final campaigns in the Northern Caucasus against then revolting Lezgins.

The assassination of Nader Shah sparked a brief period of civil war and turmoil, after which Karim Khan of the Zand dynasty came to power in , bringing a period of relative peace and prosperity.

Compared to its preceding dynasties, the geopolitical reach of the Zand dynasty was limited. Many of the Iranian territories in the Caucasus gained de facto autonomy, and were locally ruled through various Caucasian khanates.

However, despite the self-ruling, they all remained subjects and vassals to the Zand king. In , following the disobedience of the Georgian subjects and their alliance with the Russians , the Qajars captured Tbilisi by the Battle of Krtsanisi , and drove the Russians out of the entire Caucasus, reestablishing the Iranian suzerainty over the region.

The Russo-Iranian wars of — and — resulted in large irrevocable territorial losses for Iran in the Caucasus, comprising all of Transcaucasia and Dagestan , which made part of the very concept of Iran for centuries, [24] and thus substantial gains for the neighboring Russian Empire.

As a result of the 19th-century Russo-Iranian wars, the Russians took over the Caucasus, and Iran irrevocably lost control over its integral territories in the region comprising modern-day Dagestan, Georgia , Armenia , and Republic of Azerbaijan , which got confirmed per the treaties of Gulistan and Turkmenchay.

As Iran shrank, many Transcaucasian and North Caucasian Muslims moved towards Iran, [] [] especially until the aftermath of the Circassian Genocide , [] and the decades afterwards, while Iran's Armenians were encouraged to settle in the newly incorporated Russian territories, [] [] [] causing significant demographic shifts.

Around 1. Between and , a series of protests took place in response to the sale of concessions to foreigners by Qajar monarchs Naser-ed-Din and Mozaffar-ed-Din , and led to the Constitutional Revolution in The first Iranian constitution and the first national parliament of Iran were founded in , through the ongoing revolution.

The Constitution included the official recognition of Iran's three religious minorities, namely Christians , Jews , and Zoroastrians , [] which has remained a basis in the legislation of Iran since then.

The struggle related to the constitutional movement was followed by the Triumph of Tehran in , when Mohammad Ali Shah was defeated and forced to abdicate.

On the pretext of restoring order, the Russians occupied northern Iran in and maintained a military presence in the region for years to come.

But this did not put an end to the civil uprisings and was soon followed by Mirza Kuchik Khan 's Jungle Movement against both the Qajar monarchy and foreign invaders.

Despite Iran's neutrality during World War I , the Ottoman , Russian and British empires occupied the territory of western Iran and fought the Persian Campaign before fully withdrawing their forces in At least 2 million Persian civilians died either directly in the fighting, the Ottoman perpetrated anti-Christian genocides or the war induced famine of A large number of Iranian Assyrian and Iranian Armenian Christians, as well as those Muslims who tried to protect them, were victims of mass murders committed by the invading Ottoman troops , notably in and around Khoy , Maku , Salmas , and Urmia.

Apart from the rule of Agha Mohammad Khan, the Qajar rule is characterized as a century of misrule. Reza Shah, became the new Prime Minister of Iran and was declared the new monarch in The Soviets quickly allied themselves with the Allied countries and in July and August, the British demanded that the Iranian government expel all Germans from Iran.

Reza Shah refused to expel the Germans and on 25 August , the British and Soviets launched a surprise invasion and Reza Shah's government quickly surrendered.

Following the invasion, on 16 September Reza Shah abdicated and was replaced by Mohammad Reza Pahlavi , his 21 year old son.

Roosevelt , and Winston Churchill —issued the Tehran Declaration to guarantee the post-war independence and boundaries of Iran. However, at the end of the war, Soviet troops remained in Iran and established two puppet states in north-western Iran, namely the People's Government of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Mahabad.

This led to the Iran crisis of , one of the first confrontations of the Cold War , which ended after oil concessions were promised to the USSR and Soviet forces withdrew from Iran proper in May The two puppet states were soon overthrown and the oil concessions were later revoked.

In , Mohammad Mosaddegh was appointed as the Prime Minister. He became enormously popular in Iran after he nationalized Iran's petroleum industry and oil reserves.

After the coup, the Shah became increasingly autocratic and sultanistic , and Iran entered a phase of decades-long controversial close relations with the United States and some other foreign governments.

Ruhollah Khomeini , a radical Muslim cleric, became an active critic of the Shah's far-reaching series of reforms known as the White Revolution.

Khomeini publicly denounced the government, and was arrested and imprisoned for 18 months. After his release in , he refused to apologize, and was eventually sent into exile.

Due to the spike in oil prices , the economy of Iran was flooded with foreign currency, which caused inflation. By , the economy of Iran was experiencing double digit inflation, and despite the many large projects to modernize the country, corruption was rampant and caused large amounts of waste.

By and , an economic recession led to increased unemployment, especially among millions of youths who had migrated to the cities of Iran looking for construction jobs during the boom years of the early s.

By the late s, many of these people opposed the Shah's regime and began to organize and join the protests against it. The Revolution , later known as the Islamic Revolution , [] [] [] began in January with the first major demonstrations against the Shah.

The immediate nationwide uprisings against the new government began with the Kurdish rebellion and the Khuzestan uprisings , along with the uprisings in Sistan and Baluchestan and other areas.

Over the next several years, these uprisings were subdued in a violent manner by the new Islamic government. The new government began purging itself of the non-Islamist political opposition , as well as of those Islamists who were not considered radical enough.

Although both nationalists and Marxists had initially joined with Islamists to overthrow the Shah, tens of thousands were executed by the new regime afterwards.

On 4 November , a group of Muslim students seized the United States Embassy and took the embassy with 52 personnel and citizens hostage , [] after the United States refused to extradite Mohammad Reza Pahlavi to Iran, where his execution was all but assured.

Attempts by the Jimmy Carter administration to negotiate for the release of the hostages , and a failed rescue attempt , helped force Carter out of office and brought Ronald Reagan to power.

On Jimmy Carter's final day in office, the last hostages were finally set free as a result of the Algiers Accords. Mohammad Reza Pahlavi left the United States for Egypt, where he died of complications from cancer only months later, on 27 July The Cultural Revolution began in , with an initial closure of universities for three years, in order to perform an inspection and clean up in the cultural policy of the education and training system.

Although the forces of Saddam Hussein made several early advances, by mid , the Iranian forces successfully managed to drive the Iraqi army back into Iraq.

In July , with Iraq thrown on the defensive, the regime of Iran took the decision to invade Iraq and conducted countless offensives in a bid to conquer Iraqi territory and capture cities, such as Basra.

The war continued until when the Iraqi army defeated the Iranian forces inside Iraq and pushed the remaining Iranian troops back across the border.

Subsequently, Khomeini accepted a truce mediated by the United Nations. Following the Iran—Iraq War, in , Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and his administration concentrated on a pragmatic pro-business policy of rebuilding and strengthening the economy without making any dramatic break with the ideology of the revolution.

In , Rafsanjani was succeeded by moderate reformist Mohammad Khatami , whose government attempted, unsuccessfully, to make the country more free and democratic.

The presidential election brought conservative populist candidate, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad , to power. Hassan Rouhani was elected as the president on 15 June , defeating Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf and four other candidates.

The —18 Iranian protests swept across the country against the government and its longtime Supreme Leader in response to the economic and political situation.

On 3 January , the revolutionary guard's general, Qasem Soleimani , was assassinated by the United States in Iraq , which considerably heightened the existing tensions between the two countries.

An international investigation led to the government admitting to the shootdown of the plane by a surface-to-air missile after three days of denial, calling it a "human error".

Iran consists of the Iranian Plateau , with the exception of the coasts of the Caspian Sea and Khuzestan. It is one of the world's most mountainous countries, its landscape dominated by rugged mountain ranges that separate various basins or plateaux from one another.

The northern part of Iran is covered by the lush lowland Caspian Hyrcanian mixed forests , located near the southern shores of the Caspian Sea.

The eastern part consists mostly of desert basins, such as the Kavir Desert , which is the country's largest desert, and the Lut Desert , as well as some salt lakes.

The only large plains are found along the coast of the Caspian Sea and at the northern end of the Persian Gulf, where the country borders the mouth of the Arvand river.

Smaller, discontinuous plains are found along the remaining coast of the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz , and the Gulf of Oman.

Having 11 climates out of the world's 13, Iran's climate is diverse, [] ranging from arid and semi-arid , to subtropical along the Caspian coast and the northern forests.

Gary Lewis, the United Nations Resident Coordinator for Iran, has said that "Water scarcity poses the most severe human security challenge in Iran today".

To the west, settlements in the Zagros basin experience lower temperatures, severe winters with below zero average daily temperatures and heavy snowfall.

The wildlife of Iran is composed of several animal species, including bears , the Eurasian lynx , foxes , gazelles , gray wolves , jackals , panthers , and wild pigs.

Eagles , falcons , partridges , pheasants , and storks are also native to the wildlife of Iran. One of the most famous members of the Iranian wildlife is the critically endangered Asiatic cheetah , also known as the Iranian cheetah , whose numbers were greatly reduced after the Revolution.

At least 74 species of the Iranian wildlife are on the red list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature , a sign of serious threats against the country's biodiversity.

The Iranian Parliament has been showing disregard for wildlife by passing laws and regulations such as the act that lets the Ministry of Industries and Mines exploit mines without the involvement of the Department of Environment , and by approving large national development projects without demanding comprehensive study of their impact on wildlife habitats.

The country has one of the highest urban growth rates in the world. Tehran, with a population of around 8. It is an economical and cultural center, and is the hub of the country's communication and transport network.

The country's second most populous city, Mashhad , has a population of around 3. About 15 to 20 million pilgrims visit the shrine every year.

Isfahan has a population of around 2. It is the capital of the province of Isfahan , and was also the third capital of the Safavid Empire.

It is home to a wide variety of historical sites, including the famous Shah Square , Siosepol , and the churches at the Armenian district of New Julfa.

It is also home to the world's seventh largest shopping mall , Isfahan City Center. The fourth most populous city of Iran, Karaj , has a population of around 1.

It is a major industrial city in Iran, with large factories producing sugar, textiles, wire, and alcohol. With a population of around 1.

It was the first capital of the Safavid Empire, and is now the capital of the province of East Azerbaijan. It is also considered the country's second major industrial city after Tehran.

Shiraz , with a population of around 1. It is the capital of the province of Fars , and was also the capital of Iran under the reign of the Zand dynasty.

It is located near the ruins of Persepolis and Pasargadae , two of the four capitals of the Achaemenid Empire. The political system of the Islamic Republic is based on the Constitution.

The regime in Iran is undemocratic, [] [] has frequently persecuted and arrested critics of the government and its Supreme Leader, and severely restricts the participation of candidates in popular elections as well as other forms of political activity.

Over the past decade, numbers of anti-government protests have broken out throughout Iran such as the —20 Iranian protests , demanding reforms or the end to the Islamic Republic.

However, the IRGC and police often suppressed mass protests by violent means, which resulted in thousands of protesters killed.

The Leader of the Revolution "Supreme Leader" is responsible for delineation and supervision of the policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Through this process, known as Tanfiz validation , the Leader agrees to the outcome of the presidential election. All of Iran's ambassadors to Arab countries, for example, are chosen by the Quds Corps, which directly reports to the Supreme Leader.

The Supreme Leader is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces , controls the military intelligence and security operations, and has sole power to declare war or peace.

The Assembly of Experts is responsible for electing the Supreme Leader, and has the power to dismiss him on the basis of qualifications and popular esteem.

For example, Khamenei publicly called then-member of the Assembly of Experts Ahmad Azari Qomi a traitor, resulting in Qomi's arrest and eventual dismissal from the Assembly of Experts.

Another instance is when Khamenei indirectly called Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani a traitor for a statement he made, causing Rafsanjani to retract it.

Presidential candidates and parliamentary candidates must be approved by the Guardian Council all members of which are directly or indirectly appointed by the Leader or the Leader before running, in order to ensure their allegiance to the Supreme Leader.

The Leader can also revert the decisions of the Guardian Council. After the Supreme Leader, the Constitution defines the President of Iran as the highest state authority.

The Leader also has the power to dismiss the elected president anytime. The President is responsible for the implementation of the constitution, and for the exercise of executive powers in implementing the decrees and general policies as outlined by the Supreme Leader, except for matters directly related to the Supreme Leader, who has the final say in all matters.

The procedures for presidential election and all other elections in Iran are outlined by the Supreme Leader. The President appoints the ministers, subject to the approval of the Parliament, as well as the approval of the Supreme Leader, who can dismiss or reinstate any of the ministers at any time, regardless of the decisions made by the President or the Parliament.

The legislature of Iran, known as the Islamic Consultative Assembly , is a unicameral body comprising members elected for four-year terms.

All parliamentary candidates and all legislation from the assembly must be approved by the Guardian Council. The Guardian Council comprises twelve jurists, including six appointed by the Supreme Leader.

Others are elected by the Parliament, from among the jurists nominated by the Head of the Judiciary. If a law is deemed incompatible with the constitution or Sharia Islamic law , it is referred back to the Parliament for revision.

The Supreme Leader appoints the head of the country's judiciary, who in turn appoints the head of the Supreme Court and the chief public prosecutor.

The decisions of the revolutionary courts are final and cannot be appealed. The Special Clerical Court handles crimes allegedly committed by clerics , although it has also taken on cases involving laypeople.

The Special Clerical Court functions independently of the regular judicial framework, and is accountable only to the Supreme Leader.

The Court's rulings are final and cannot be appealed. The officially stated goal of the government of Iran is to establish a new world order based on world peace , global collective security , and justice.

Since , Iran's nuclear program has become the subject of contention with the international community, mainly the United States.

Many countries have expressed concern that Iran's nuclear program could divert civilian nuclear technology into a weapons program.

This has led the United Nations Security Council to impose sanctions against Iran which had further isolated Iran politically and economically from the rest of the global community.

In , the U. Director of National Intelligence said that Iran, if choosing to, would not be able to develop a nuclear weapon until As of [update] , the government of Iran maintains diplomatic relations with 99 members of the United Nations, [] but not with the United States , and not with Israel —a state which Iran's government has derecognized since the Revolution.

In April the U. On 1 September , the Iranian authorities took a step to enhance its relations with Qatar , and decided to grant Qatari passport holders tourist visas upon arrival at Iranian airports.

Besides, Qatari nationals were also permitted to obtain a single or multiple-entry visa from Iran's embassy in Doha. The Islamic Republic of Iran has two types of armed forces: the regular forces of the Army , the Air Force , and the Navy , and the Revolutionary Guards , totaling about , active troops.

Iran also has around , Reserve Force, totaling around , trained troops. The government of Iran has a paramilitary, volunteer militia force within the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps , called the Basij , which includes about 90, full-time, active-duty uniformed members.

Up to 11 million men and women are members of the Basij who could potentially be called up for service. It is the first time that an element of a foreign state was designated as a terrorist organization.

The government of Iran supports the military activities of its allies in Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon Hezbollah with military and financial aid.

Since the Revolution, to overcome foreign embargoes, the government of Iran has developed its own military industry, produced its own tanks , armored personnel carriers , missiles , submarines , military vessels, missile destroyer , radar systems, helicopters , and fighter planes.

At that time every male person who had reached 21 years old must serve for military for two years. The conscription exempted women from military service after revolution.

Iranian constitution obliges all men of 18 years old and higher to serve in military or police bases. They cannot leave the country or be employed without completion of the service period.

Inappropriate situation of Iranian soldiers has caused violent incidents in recent years. Iran's economy is a mixture of central planning , state ownership of oil and other large enterprises, village agriculture, and small-scale private trading and service ventures.

The Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for developing and maintaining the Iranian rial , which serves as the country's currency.

The government does not recognize trade unions other than the Islamic labour councils , which are subject to the approval of employers and the security services.

The objective is to move towards free market prices in a five-year period and increase productivity and social justice.

The administration continues to follow the market reform plans of the previous one, and indicates that it will diversify Iran's oil-reliant economy.

Iran has also developed a biotechnology , nanotechnology , and pharmaceutical industry. Currently, the government is trying to privatize these industries , and, despite successes, there are still several problems to be overcome, such as the lagging corruption in the public sector and lack of competitiveness.

Iran has leading manufacturing industries in the fields of automobile manufacture, transportation, construction materials, home appliances, food and agricultural goods, armaments, pharmaceuticals, information technology, and petrochemicals in the Middle East.

Economic sanctions against Iran , such as the embargo against Iranian crude oil, have affected the economy.

Although tourism declined significantly during the war with Iraq, it has been subsequently recovered.

Over five million tourists visited Iran in the fiscal year of —, four percent more than the previous year. Alongside the capital, the most popular tourist destinations are Isfahan , Mashhad , and Shiraz.

In , Iran ranked 68th in tourism revenues worldwide. Iran has the world's second largest proved gas reserves after Russia , with It also ranks fourth in oil reserves with an estimated ,,, barrels.

In the early s, industry infrastructure was increasingly inefficient because of technological lags. Few exploratory wells were drilled in In , a large share of Iran's natural gas reserves were untapped.

The addition of new hydroelectric stations and the streamlining of conventional coal and oil-fired stations increased installed capacity to 33, megawatts.

In , Iran opened its first wind-powered and geothermal plants, and the first solar thermal plant was to come online in Iran is the world's third country to have developed GTL technology.

The government's goal of 53, megawatts of installed capacity by is to be reached by bringing on line new gas-fired plants , and adding hydropower and nuclear power generation capacity.

Iran's first nuclear power plant at Bushire went online in In Fatih Birol the head of the International Energy Agency said that fossil fuel subsidies should be redirected, for example to the health system.

Education in Iran is highly centralized. K—12 is supervised by the Ministry of Education , and higher education is under the supervision of the Ministry of Science and Technology.

The adult literacy rated The completion of the pre-university course earns students the Pre-University Certificate.

Iran has increased its publication output nearly tenfold from through , and has been ranked first in terms of output growth rate, followed by China.

The Iranian nuclear program was launched in the s. Iran is the seventh country to produce uranium hexafluoride , and controls the entire nuclear fuel cycle.

Iranian scientists outside Iran have also made some major contributions to science. In , Ali Javan co-invented the first gas laser , and fuzzy set theory was introduced by Lotfi A.

Furthering research and treatment of diabetes, the HbA1c was discovered by Samuel Rahbar. Iranian physics is especially strong in string theory , with many papers being published in Iran.

In August , Iranian mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani became the first woman, as well as the first Iranian, to receive the Fields Medal , the highest prize in mathematics.

Iran is a diverse country, consisting of numerous ethnic and linguistic groups that are unified through a shared Iranian nationality. Iran hosts one of the largest refugee populations in the world, with almost one million refugees, [] mostly from Afghanistan and Iraq.

According to the Iranian Constitution , the government is required to provide every citizen of the country with access to social security , covering retirement, unemployment, old age, disability , accidents, calamities, health and medical treatment and care services.

The majority of the population speak Persian , which is also the official language of the country. Others include speakers of a number of other Iranian languages within the greater Indo-European family, and languages belonging to some other ethnicities living in Iran.

In northern Iran, mostly confined to Gilan and Mazenderan , the Gilaki and Mazenderani languages are widely spoken, both having affinities to the neighboring Caucasian languages.

In parts of Gilan, the Talysh language is also widely spoken, which stretches up to the neighboring Republic of Azerbaijan. Varieties of Kurdish are widely spoken in the province of Kurdistan and nearby areas.

In Khuzestan , several distinct varieties of Persian are spoken. Luri and Lari are also spoken in southern Iran. Azerbaijani , which is by far the most spoken language in the country after Persian, [] as well as a number of other Turkic languages and dialects, is spoken in various regions of Iran, especially in the region of Azerbaijan.

Circassian was also once widely spoken by the large Circassian minority, but, due to assimilation over the many years, no sizable number of Circassians speak the language anymore.

Percentages of spoken language continue to be a point of debate, as many opt that they are politically motivated; most notably regarding the largest and second largest ethnicities in Iran, the Persians and Azerbaijanis.

As with the spoken languages, the ethnic group composition also remains a point of debate, mainly regarding the largest and second largest ethnic groups, the Persians and Azerbaijanis, due to the lack of Iranian state censuses based on ethnicity.

Qashqai and Turkmens , and non-Iranian, non-Turkic groups incl. Other nongovernmental estimates regarding the groups other than Persians and Azerbaijanis are roughly congruent with the World Factbook and the Library of Congress.

However, many estimates regarding the number of these two groups differ significantly from the mentioned census; some place the number of ethnic Azerbaijanis in Iran between Historically, early Iranian religions such as the Proto-Iranic religion and the subsequent Zoroastrianism and Manichaeism were the dominant religions in Iran, particularly during the Median, Achaemenid, Parthian, and Sasanian eras.

This changed after the fall of the Sasanian Empire by the centuries-long Islamization that followed the Muslim Conquest of Iran.

Iran was predominantly Sunni until the conversion of the country as well as the people of what is today the neighboring Republic of Azerbaijan to Shia Islam by the order of the Safavid dynasty in the 16th century.

There are about 3,, adherents of Yarsanism , a Kurdish indigenous religion related to Zoroastrianism : making it the largest unrecognized minority religion in Iran.

Its followers are mainly Gorani Kurds and certain groups of Lurs. Judaism has a long history in Iran , dating back to the Achaemenid conquest of Babylonia.

Although many left in the wake of the establishment of the State of Israel and the Revolution, about 8, [] to 25, [] Jewish people live in Iran.

Iran has the largest Jewish population in the Middle East outside of Israel. Around , to , Christians reside in Iran, [] [] and Christianity is the country's largest recognized minority religion.

Most are of Armenian background, as well as a sizable minority of Assyrians. Christianity, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, and the Sunni branch of Islam are officially recognized by the government, and have reserved seats in the Iranian Parliament.

The earliest attested cultures in Iran date back to the Lower Paleolithic. Owing to its geopolitical position, Iran has influenced cultures as far as Greece and Italy to the west, Russia to the north, the Arabian Peninsula to the south, and south and east Asia to the east.

The art of Iran encompasses many disciplines, including architecture , stonemasonry , metalworking , weaving , pottery , painting , and calligraphy.

Iranian works of art show a great variety in style, in different regions and periods. Greek iconography was imported by the Seleucids , followed by the recombination of Hellenistic and earlier Near Eastern elements in the art of the Parthians , [] with remains such as the Temple of Anahita and the Statue of the Parthian Nobleman.

By the time of the Sasanians, Iranian art came across a general renaissance. During the Middle Ages, Sasanian art played a prominent role in the formation of both European and Asian medieval art, [93] which carried forward to the Islamic world , and much of what later became known as Islamic learning—including medicine , architecture , philosophy , philology , and literature —were of Sasanian basis.

The Safavid era is known as the Golden Age of Iranian art, [] and Safavid works of art show a far more unitary development than in any other period, [] as part of a political evolution that reunified Iran as a cultural entity.

Iran's contemporary art traces its origins back to the time of Kamal-ol-Molk , [] a prominent realist painter at the court of the Qajar dynasty who affected the norms of painting and adopted a naturalistic style that would compete with photographic works.

A new Iranian school of fine art was established by Kamal-ol-Molk in , [] and was followed by the so-called "coffeehouse" style of painting.

Iran's avant-garde modernists emerged by the arrival of new western influences during World War II. The history of architecture in Iran goes back to the seventh millennium BC.

Iranian architecture displays great variety, both structural and aesthetic, developing gradually and coherently out of earlier traditions and experience.

Iran ranks seventh among UNESCO 's list of countries with the most archaeological ruins and attractions from antiquity. Traditionally, the guiding formative motif of Iranian architecture has been its cosmic symbolism "by which man is brought into communication and participation with the powers of heaven".

According to Persian historian and archaeologist Arthur Pope , the supreme Iranian art, in the proper meaning of the word, has always been its architecture.

The supremacy of architecture applies to both pre- and post-Islamic periods. Iran's carpet-weaving has its origins in the Bronze Age, and is one of the most distinguished manifestations of Iranian art.

Iran's oldest literary tradition is that of Avestan , the Old Iranian sacred language of the Avesta , which consists of the legendary and religious texts of Zoroastrianism and the ancient Iranian religion , with its earliest records dating back to the pre-Achaemenid times.

Of the various modern languages used in Iran, Persian , various dialects of which are spoken throughout the Iranian Plateau, [] [] has the most influential literature.

Persian has been dubbed as a worthy language to serve as a conduit for poetry, and is considered one of the four main bodies of world literature.

Iranian philosophy originates from Indo-European roots, with Zoroaster 's reforms having major influences. According to The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy , the chronology of the subject and science of philosophy starts with the Indo-Iranians, dating this event to BC.

The Oxford dictionary also states, "Zarathushtra's philosophy entered to influence Western tradition through Judaism, and therefore on Middle Platonism.

While there are ancient relations between the Indian Vedas and the Iranian Avesta , the two main families of the Indo-Iranian philosophical traditions were characterized by fundamental differences, especially in their implications for the human being's position in society and their view of man's role in the universe.

The Cyrus Cylinder , which is known as "the first charter of human rights ", is often seen as a reflection of the questions and thoughts expressed by Zoroaster, and developed in Zoroastrian schools of the Achaemenid era.

Among them are treatises such as the Zatspram, Shkand-gumanik Vizar , and Denkard , as well as older passages of the Avesta and the Gathas.

Iranian mythology consists of ancient Iranian folklore and stories, all involving extraordinary beings, reflecting attitudes towards the confrontation of good and evil , actions of the gods, and the exploits of heroes and fabulous creatures.

Myths play a crucial part in Iranian culture, and understanding of them is increased when they are considered within the context of actual events in Iranian history.

The geography of Greater Iran, a vast area covering present-day Iran, the Caucasus, Anatolia, Mesopotamia and Central Asia, with its high mountain ranges, plays the main role in much of Iranian mythology.

It draws heavily on the stories and characters of the Zoroastrian tradition, from the texts of the Avesta , the Denkard , and the Bundahishn.

Iran is the apparent birthplace of the earliest complex instruments, dating back to the third millennium BC. Multiple depictions of horizontal harps were also sculpted in Assyrian palaces, dating back between and BC.

Xenophon 's Cyropaedia mentions a great number of singing women at the court of the Achaemenid Empire. Likewise, Strabo 's Geographica reports that the Parthian youth were taught songs about "the deeds both of the gods and of the noblest men".

The history of Sasanian music is better documented than the earlier periods, and is especially more evident in Avestan texts.

Iranian traditional musical instruments include string instruments such as chang harp , qanun , santur , rud oud , barbat , tar , dotar , setar , tanbur , and kamanche , wind instruments such as sorna zurna , karna and ney , and percussion instruments such as tompak , kus , daf dayere , and naqare.

It was reformed by Parviz Mahmoud in , and is currently Iran's oldest and largest symphony orchestra.

Later, by the late s, Ruhollah Khaleqi founded the country's first national music society, and established the School of National Music in Iranian pop music has its origins in the Qajar era.

The emergence of genres such as rock in the s and hip hop in the s also resulted in major movements and influences in Iranian music.

Before the Revolution, the Iranian national stage had become a famous performing scene for known international artists and troupes, [] with the Roudaki Hall of Tehran constructed to function as the national stage for opera and ballet.

Tjeknavorian, a celebrated Iranian Armenian composer and conductor, composed it in 25 years, and it was finally performed for the first time at Tehran's Roudaki Hall, with Darya Dadvar in the role of Tahmina.

A third-millennium BC earthen goblet discovered at the Burnt City , a Bronze Age urban settlement in southeastern Iran, depicts what could possibly be the world's oldest example of animation.

The artifact, associated with Jiroft , bears five sequential images depicting a wild goat jumping up to eat the leaves of a tree. The figures at Persepolis remain bound by the rules of grammar and syntax of visual language.

It is even possible to see a progenitor of the cinematic close-up shot in one of these works of art, which shows a wounded wild pig escaping from the hunting ground.

By the early 20th century, the five-year-old industry of cinema came to Iran. Mirza Ebrahim obtained a camera and filmed the Qajar ruler's visit to Europe.

Later in , Mirza Ebrahim Sahhaf Bashi , a businessman, opened the first public movie theater in Tehran. Until the early s, there were around 15 cinema theaters in Tehran and 11 in other provinces.

Iran's animation industry began by the s, and was followed by the establishment of the influential Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults in January The majority of the production focused on melodrama and thrillers.

With the screening of the films Qeysar and The Cow , directed by Masoud Kimiai and Dariush Mehrjui respectively in , alternative films set out to establish their status in the film industry and Bahram Beyzai 's Downpour and Nasser Taghvai 's Tranquility in the Presence of Others followed soon.

Attempts to organize a film festival, which had begun in within the framework of the Golrizan Festival, resulted in the festival of Sepas in The endeavors also resulted in the formation of the Tehran's World Film Festival in After the Revolution of , and following the Cultural Revolution , a new age emerged in Iranian cinema, starting with Long Live!

Kiarostami, an acclaimed Iranian director, planted Iran firmly on the map of world cinema when he won the Palme d'Or for Taste of Cherry in Critics considered this a remarkable event in the history of Iranian cinema.

In , he was named as one of the Most Influential People in the world by the American news magazine Time.

Iran's official New Year begins with Nowruz , an ancient Iranian tradition celebrated annually on the vernal equinox.

It is enjoyed by people adhering to different religions, but is considered a holiday for the Zoroastrians. It was registered on the UNESCO 's list of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in , [] described as the Persian New Year , [] [] [] [] shared with a number of other countries in which it has historically been celebrated.

Iran's official calendar is the Solar Hejri calendar , beginning at the vernal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere , which was first enacted by the Iranian Parliament on 31 March Alternatively, the Lunar Hejri calendar is used to indicate Islamic events, and the Gregorian calendar remarks the international events.

Due to its variety of ethnic groups and the influences from the neighboring cultures, the cuisine of Iran is diverse. Herbs are frequently used, along with fruits such as plums, pomegranate, quince, prunes, apricots, and raisins.

To achieve a balanced taste, characteristic flavorings such as saffron, dried lime, cinnamon, and parsley are mixed delicately and used in some special dishes.

Onion and garlic are commonly used in the preparation of the accompanying course, but are also served separately during meals, either in raw or pickled form.

Lunch and dinner meals are commonly accompanied by side dishes such as plain yogurt or mast-o-khiar , sabzi , salad Shirazi , and torshi , and might follow dishes such as borani , Mirza Qasemi , or kashk e bademjan as the appetizer.

Being a mountainous country, Iran is a venue for skiing , snowboarding , hiking , rock climbing , [] and mountain climbing.

Iran's National Olympic Committee was founded in Wrestlers and weightlifters have achieved the country's highest records at the Olympics.

The Azadi Sport Complex , which is the largest sport complex in Iran, was originally built for this occasion. Football has been regarded as the most popular sport in Iran, with the men's national team having won the Asian Cup on three occasions.

The men's national team has maintained its position as Asia's best team, ranking 1st in Asia and 33rd in the world according to the FIFA World Rankings as of May [update].

Volleyball is the second most popular sport in Iran. Basketball is also popular, [] with men's national team having won three Asian Championships since In , Iran made global headlines for international female champions boycotting tournaments in Iran in chess U.

Iran is one of the countries with the worst freedom of the press situation, ranking th out of countries on the Press Freedom Index as of Iran's first newspapers were published during the reign of Naser al-Din Shah of the Qajar dynasty in the midth century.

The country's most widely circulated periodicals are based in Tehran, among which are Etemad , Ettela'at , Kayhan , Hamshahri , Resalat , and Shargh.

Television was introduced in Iran in Iran received access to the Internet in According to Internet World Stats, as of [update] , around According to the statistics provided by the web information company of Alexa , Google Search is Iran's most widely used search engine and Instagram is the most popular online social networking service.

Fashion in Iran is divided into several historical periods. The exact date of the emergence of weaving in Iran is not yet known, but it is likely to coincide with the emergence of civilization.

Clothing in Iran is mentioned in Persian mythology. Ferdowsi and many historians have considered Keyumars to be the inventor of the use of animals' skin and hair as clothing.

Some historians have also mentioned Hushang as the first inventor of the use of living skins as clothing. There are historical discoveries in northern Iran from about 6, BC that refer to wool weaving at the time.

Other discoveries in central Iran dating back to BC have shown that the animals' skin has not been the only clothing worn on the Iranian plateau since those years.

The clothing of ancient Iran took an advanced form, and the fabric and color of clothing became very important at that time.

Depending on the social status, eminence, climate of the region and the season, Persian clothing during the Achaemenian period took various forms.

The philosophy used in this clothing, in addition to being functional, also had an aesthetic role. Beauty pageant festivals inside Iran were not held after the revolution , and the last selection ceremony of the "beauty queen of Iran" was held in in this country.

Since then, a high number of Iranian girls participated in the Beauty pageant and Miss Universe outside of Iran. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

For other uses, see Iran disambiguation and Persia disambiguation. Country in the Middle East. List of languages. List of ethnicities. Unitary Khomeinist presidential Islamic republic.

Main article: Name of Iran. Main article: History of Iran. Further information: Prehistory of Iran and Archaeological sites in Iran.

See also: Indo-European migrations. Main articles: Muslim conquest of Persia and Medieval Iran. Main article: Safavid Iran.

Main article: Afsharid dynasty. Main article: Zand dynasty. Main article: Qajar Iran. Main article: Pahlavi dynasty. See also: Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran.

Main article: Geography of Iran. See also: Agriculture in Iran and Environmental issues in Iran. Hot desert climate. Cold desert climate.

Hot semi-arid climate. Cold semi-arid climate. Hot-summer Mediterranean climate. Continental Mediterranean climate.

See also: Wildlife of Iran. See also: List of Iranian cities by population. Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari. Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad. Razavi Khorasan.

Sistan and Baluchestan. North Khorasan. South Khorasan. West Azerbaijan. East Azerbaijan. Caspian Sea. Persian Gulf. Saudi Arabia. Largest cities or towns in Iran census.

Main article: Politics of Iran. Main article: Judicial system of Iran. Main article: Foreign relations of Iran. See also: Iranian involvement in the Syrian Civil War.

Main article: Economy of Iran. Main article: Tourism in Iran. Main articles: Education in Iran and Science and technology in Iran.

Main article: Demographics of Iran. See also: Healthcare in Iran. Main article: Languages of Iran. Main article: Ethnicities in Iran.

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May Learn how and when to remove this template message. Main articles: Religion in Iran and Irreligion in Iran. See also: Islamization of Iran.

Main article: Culture of Iran. Main articles: Iranian art and Arts of Iran. See also: Achaemenid architecture , Parthian art , Sasanian art , Safavid art , Qajar art , and Iranian modern and contemporary art.

Main articles: Iranian architecture and Persian gardens. Ruins of the Tachara , part of the World Heritage site of Persepolis.

Main article: Persian carpet. Main articles: Literature in Iran , Iranian literature , and Persian literature.

Main articles: Persian mythology and Iranian folklore. Main article: Music of Iran. Main articles: Persian theater and Persian dance.

Main articles: Cinema of Iran and History of Iranian animation. See also: List of festivals in Iran. Main article: Public holidays in Iran.

See also: Iranian calendars. Main article: Iranian cuisine. Main article: Sport in Iran. Weightlifter Kianoush Rostami wins gold at the Summer Olympics.

Taekwondo athlete Kimia Alizadeh wins bronze at the Summer Olympics. Main article: Media of Iran. Main article: Fashion in Iran.

The word also appears four times in Old Persian: One is in the Behistun inscription , where ariya- is the name of a language DB 4. Transliteration Allahu Akbar.

As referred to in art. The de facto motto however is: 'Independence, freedom, the Islamic Republic.

Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 9 January The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency United States. Retrieved 24 May Tauris, p.

The name 'Iran' disappeared from official records of the Saffarids, Samanids, Buyids, Saljuqs and their successor.

But one unofficially used the name Iran, Eranshahr, and similar national designations, particularly Mamalek-e Iran or 'Iranian lands', which exactly translated the old Avestan term Ariyanam Daihunam.

On the other hand, when the Safavids not Reza Shah, as is popularly assumed revived a national state officially known as Iran, bureaucratic usage in the Ottoman empire and even Iran itself could still refer to it by other descriptive and traditional appellations.

Newman Safavid Iran: Rebirth of a Persian Empire. Retrieved 21 June Archived from the original on 14 March Retrieved 13 September International Monetary Fund.

Retrieved 4 January Archived from the original on 9 February Retrieved 29 November United Nations Development Programme. Retrieved 10 December Fishman, Joshua Oxford University Press.

Archived from the original on 5 August Retrieved 1 August National Geographic. Archived from the original on 12 December The Diplomat.

Archived from the original on 8 December Financial Tribune. Retrieved 28 May Tuckwell Press.

Comparative Politics: Structures and Choices, 2nd ed. Cengage Learning. Retrieved 25 August Brody; Oswyn Murray; Lisa R.

Brody Encyclopedia of the ancient Greek world. Infobase Publishing. Retrieved 17 August The Jews of Arab Lands.

Jewish Publication Society. Ashgate Publishing. Encyclopaedia of Islam 2nd ed. Retrieved 27 May Iran: The Illusion of Power.

London: St. Martin's Press. Retrieved 8 August Archived from the original on 10 April Retrieved 23 January Retrieved 14 March Human Rights Watch.

UK Parliament. Retrieved 18 June Herbert Hunt 18 May Petro-Hunt LLC. Archived from the original on 3 January Retrieved 10 November Encyclopedia Iranica.

Costa Mesa: Mazda. Archived from the original on 13 March Archived from the original on 3 March Iranica website.

Retrieved 30 March The New York Times. Retrieved 26 December Archived from the original on 12 April Retrieved 26 April Archived from the original on 23 May Frye 20 October Archived from the original on 23 April LIT Verlag Münster.

The Harvard Theological Review. I use the term Iran in an historical context [ I use the term "Greater Iran" to mean what I suspect most Classicists and ancient historians really mean by their use of Persia — that which was within the political boundaries of States ruled by Iranians.

Shadows in the Desert: Ancient Persia at War. Oxford Dictionaries. Archived from the original on 29 December Retrieved 7 February Voice of America.

Archived from the original on 11 February The Washington Post. The American Heritage Dictionary. Realm of History. Retrieved 2 June Retrieved 27 April Archived from the original on 26 July Vigne; J.

Peters; D. Helmer Oxbow Books, Limited. NBC News. Retrieved 26 August Archived from the original on 25 July Encyclopaedia Iranica Foundation.

Archived from the original on 23 October Retrieved 9 August Kris Hirst. Archived from the original on 6 November Retrieved 18 December Ancient Near Eastern Art.

University of California Press. Retrieved 4 July See also: All winners of the contest Miss Earth. Nazanin Mandi - American singer, dancer and model iranian origin.

Entries many musical shows. Her big screen debut was in "Devil's Take" Moghalede Sheytan. See also: The most beautiful Turkish actresses.

In Sweden maryam Zakaria worked as model, dance teacher, choreographer and established a Bollywood Dance School.

The Indisk Dans Studio was the first dance school in Sweden to teach "jhatkas and matkas of Bollywood cinema".

She moved to Mumbai, India by to work in Bollywood and began working as a model, appearing in various television adverts, the most notable being the adverts of Set Wet, Layz and Coke.

Shaghayegh Claudia Lynx June 8, - Iranian model and former pop singer. Her family moved to Norway when she was five years later, she moved to the United States.

See also: The most beautiful Hollywood actresses. Sahar Biniaz born - Iranian Canadian beauty pageant contestant and professional actress. Title: Miss Universe Canada Golshifteh Farahani 10 July - Iranian actress, musician and singer.

Golshifteh has acted in over 25 films, many of which have received international recognition. Shermine Shahrivar 17 September - Iranian-born German citizen, model, and beauty pageant titleholder who won Miss Europe See also: The most beautiful German women.

Afsaneh Pakroo May 1, - Iranian actress, known for Mohakemeh , Roya-ye khis and Rasm-e ashegh-koshi Fans model believe that it looks like a girl with Persian miniatures.

If you have any questions, please contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Beauty ratings.

Movie ratings. Other ratings. Famous people. Comments Published in Beauty ratings. Tagged under beauty ratings Asia beauty ratings Orient.

Top Most Handsome Kyrgyz Men. Photo Gallery. Top Beautiful Uzbekistan Women. Top Beautiful Yemeni Women. Top Beautiful Saudi Arabian Women.

One of them is " niki karimi" , persian actress and director.

Another instance is when Khamenei indirectly called Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani Sdt game traitor for a statement he made, causing Rafsanjani to retract it. Porno from russia government does not recognize trade unions other than the Islamic labour Kim kardashian new nude selfie uncensoredwhich Haley reed galleries subject to the approval of employers and the Fucking on camera services. The adult literacy rated Most of the Xvidweo of the Sasanian Empire was overshadowed by the Roman—Persian Warswhich raged on Armpit sucking western borders at Anatolia, Videos porno famosos Western CaucasusMesopotamia, and the Levantfor over years. Fashion in Iran is divided into several Bakunyuu maid kari periods. Archived from the original on 17 December Main articles: Education in Iran and Science and technology in Iran. The Daily Beast. Retrieved: Nude celebirty August Iran sexy 27 March

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