Everything you need to know about Iran: news, reviews, in-depth analysis, opinion and more
Iran: Former Persia with Nuclear Ambitions
Iran was known as Persia until 1935 and became an Islamic republic in 1979 after the monarchy was overthrown and the shah was forced into exile. Conservative clerical forces established a theocratic system of government with ultimate political authority vested in a learned religious scholar referred to commonly as the Supreme Leader or Ayatollah. Between 1980-88 Iran fought exhaustive and bloody battle with Iraq. Later on this war expanded over the Persian Gulf that led to clashes with US Navy between 1987 and 1988. UN and US put economic sanctions and export controls over Iran because of its involvement in terrorism and conventional weapons proliferation. In December 2006 and March 2007, the UNSC passed resolutions 1737 and 1747 after Iran failed to fulfill with UN resolutions to halt the enrichment of uranium or to agree to full IAEA oversight of its nuclear program. This led to severe economic sanctions by US.
Iran Profile: Overview of Facts and Figures:
Geographical Information on Iran :
Iran is located on the coast of Caspian Sea. It is bordered on the north by Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. Kazakhstan and Russia are also Iran's direct neighbours to the north. Iran is bordered on the east by Afghanistan and Pakistan, on the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, and on the west by Turkey. This geo-strategic location makes the Iran important place in Eurasia.
Climate of Iran is mostly arid or semiarid but along the Caspian Sea coast subtropical climate can be found.
Culture, Cuisine and Tradition Of Iran:
Iranian culture probably originated from Central Asia and the Andronovo culture. The essence of Islam and its beliefs can be seen in the people's duty and practices. The most visible daily expressions of Iran's brand of Shi'ite Islam are the modest dress code and behavior at mosques.
Iranian cuisine is popular the world over and its main ingredients include rice, bread, fresh vegetables, herbs and fruit. Meat of lamb or mutton minced cut into small chunks, is used to add flavor. Tea is Iran's national beverage.
Tourist Attractions of Iran:
Due to its historical background and sustainable social and cultural evolution Iran has lot of natural sites including historical monuments, which belong to different periods of human settlement in the plateau of Iran, along with diverse natural, coastal, mountainous, and nomadic landscapes.
Shiraz : Situated in Far province of Iran. It is one of the most famous provinces of the Old Persian Empire and known in the entire world as the city of roses and poets.
Isfahan : Isfahan province is very well known among the tourists for its rich history and handicrafts. It is famous because of the past memorials that reflect great national, cultural, and religious memories of the era gone by.
Major Sight-seeing Places in Iran include:
Jerusalem, June 19 (IANS) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday that his country would not accept anything less than the total halt of Iranian uranium enrichment.
London, June 18 (ANI): Newly elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has promised to reduce tensions with the West.
Tehran, June 18 (IANS) Iran's president-elect Hassan Rouhani said Monday that his country would try to be more " transparent" in its nuclear issue to "build confidence".
Sydney, June 17 (ANI): Iran' new presidential-elect Hassan Rowhani has hailed his election win as a victory over extremism.
Dubai, June 17 (ANI): The election of moderate cleric Hassan Rouhani as Iran's president is seen with optimism among analysts in Oman.
Johannesburg, June 17 (ANI): Israel has warned the international community not to ease sanctions on Iran following the election of a moderate president.
New Delhi, June 16 (ANI): External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid will embark on a two-day visit to Iraq on 19th June during which he will hold talks with top Iraqi leaders on issues of reciprocal interest including import of oil.
Islamabad, June 16 (ANI): Pakistan should accelerate the gas pipeline project with Iran or the latter would impose financial punishments on Islamabad, an Iranian source ha revealed.
London, June 16 (ANI): Iran will be sending a first contingent of 4,000 Iranian Revolutionary Guards to Syria to support President Bashar al-Assad's forces against the largely Sunni rebellion in the civil war in the country.
New Delhi, June 16 (IANS) Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Rajnath Singh Sunday congratulated Iran's president-elect Hassan Rouhani, expressing hope that moderate voices would now be strengthened in Iran.
Washington, June 16 (ANI): The Obama administration has said it respected the results of the presidential election in Iran conducted under restrictive conditions.
Tehran, June 15 (IANS) Moderate presidential candidate, Hassan Rouhani, won the Iran's presidential election by securing over 50 percent of votes, Iran's interior minister said Saturday evening, reported Xinhua.
Tehran, June 15 (IANS) Moderate presidential candidate, Hassan Rouhani, won the Iran's presidential election by securing over 50 percent of votes, Iran's interior minister said Saturday evening, reported Xinhua.
Tehran, June 14 (IANS) Millions of Iranians cast their votes in the presidential election Friday at over 60,000 polling stations to choose two-term President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's successor.
Tehran, June 14 (IANS) Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has called for a high turnout as over 60,000 polling stations opened across the country Friday for the 11th presidential elections, RIA Novosti reported.
Rome, June 14 (IANS/AKI) Internet giant Google says it has blocked a "politically motivated" phishing against thousands of gmail users in Iran on the eve of the country's presidential election.
London, June 13 (ANI): Iran has imposed severe restrictions on foreign and domestic media to ensure that coverage of presidential election on Friday is tightly controlled.
Tehran, June 12 (IANS) Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Wednesday called for high turnout in the upcoming presidential vote, reported Xinhua citing the semi-official Fars news agency.
Abu Dhabi, June 12 (IANS/WAM) Top officials of the UAE have held discussions with their counterparts from Iran, South Korea and the southeastern European republic of Kosovo.
Islamabad, June 11 (ANI): Tehran has expressed concern over delay in starting the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline.
Moscow, June 11 (IANS) Iran seeks to settle its contract dispute with Russia over the supply of S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems, Iranian ambassador to Moscow has said.
Moscow, June 11 (IANS/RIA Novosti) The US administration does not regard Russia as a rival in security matters but views Moscow as a partner with whom it can jointly resolve global issues, the US ambassador to Russia said Monday.
Moscow, June 11 (IANS) Iran is not going to change its nuclear policy irrespective of who becomes the next president, Iranian ambassador to Moscow Reza Sajjadi has said.
Washington, June 10 (ANI): Iran has announced setting up of its first space-monitoring centre in Delijan to track objects passing in the orbit overhead, which US fears may also be used to develop long-range missiles.
Moscow, June 10 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Iran has opened a space centre to enable itself to monitor and observe space objects and satellites passing through the country's atmosphere, a media report said Sunday.
Jerusalem, June 9 (ANI): Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has said that Iran's nuclear policy will not undergo any alterations even after the presidential elections in the country.
Islamabad, June 9 (ANI): US' National Security Agency (NSA) has collected second highest amount of digital data from Pakistan with the help of a data-mining tool.
Tehran, June 9 (IANS) Iran Sunday opened a new space centre to monitor and observe space objects and satellites passing through the country's upper atmosphere.
Karachi, June 9 (ANI): The Federal minister for Planning and Development in Pakistan, Ahsan Iqbal has said that Iran-Pakistan's gas project is vital and cannot be set aside especially in the present crucial time.
Washington, June 8 (ANI): Iranian lawmakers have proposed a bill that would outlaw bring dogs in public places or driven around in cars.
New Delhi, June 7 (IANS) In order to improve the prospects for peace in Syria, Russian foreign policy experts have called for India to take part in the Geneva II peace conference.
It was October 2011. I knew this would be my last evening with the distinguished Turkish journalist, Mehmet Birand, as we looked over the Bosphorus from my hotel in Istanbul. He had been fighting cancer bravely for quite some time but the extent to which his large frame had shrunk was a clear sign that the disease was getting the better of him.
Islamabad, June 7 (ANI): Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has outlined his government's foreign policy priorities of pursuing aggressive 'economic diplomacy' and favouring a 'peaceful neighbourhood'.
Washington, June 6 (ANI): A Persian carpet decorated with swirling vines and vibrant flowers that was stored for decades by the Corcoran Gallery of Art has been sold for more than 30 million dollars in the U.S..
Washington, June 6 (IANS) India, China and seven other countries have received fresh six-month waivers from the US State Department on Iran sanctions for agreeing to reduce purchases of oil from Tehran.
Washington, June 5 (ANI): The Obama administration will be extending six-month sanctions exemptions to India and eight other countries for significantly reducing oil imports from Iran, officials have said.
Tehran, June 5 (IANS) The Iranian national football team beat Qatar 1-0 to restore their hopes of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup.
Tehran, June 4 (IANS) Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Tuesday the country's next president should focus on the Iranian economy which is targeted by the West.
London, June 4 (ANI): A human rights group has said that Iran plans to retain stoning as lawful punishment for women committing adultery.
Washington, June 4 (ANI): The Obama administration has imposed new sanctions on Iran's currency and auto industry, turning the screw on its nuclear programme.
Vienna, June 4 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Iran has not provided the International Atomic Energy Agency with sufficient information to substantiate its claim that its nuclear programme is peaceful, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said.
Islamabad, June 3 (ANI): Senior Afghan Taliban officials, who wrapped up their three-day visit to Iran, have assured Iranian authorities that they would accommodate all sides in any post-NATO set-up in Afghanistan, according to sources.
Washington, June 3 (ANI): The family of a 16-year-old Bangladeshi girl who is playing the role of Pakistani teen activist Malala Yousafzai in a new film have insisted that no photos of the girl be released until midway through filming, in fear of revenge attacks by the Taliban.
Beijing, Jun 2 (Xinhua-ANI): Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was unhurt after the helicopter carrying him made an emergency landing "due to a technical malfunction," Press TV reported on Sunday.
Washington, June 1 (IANS) The US government has slapped sanctions on Iran's petrochemical industry as part of its efforts to intensify the squeeze on Tehran's economy.
Amman, June 1 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Moscow is trying to persuade Tehran to withdraw its lawsuit against Russia's state-run arms export company Rosoboronexport over a cancelled deal to supply S-300 air defence systems to Iran.
New Delhi, May 31 (IANS) The Indian trio of Manan Chandra, Brijesh Damani and Alok Kumar thrashed Iran 3-0 to emerge champions in the inaugural Asian Team Snooker Championships held at Doha, in Qatar.
Johannesburg, May 31(ANI): Syrian opposition group, The National Coalition, has refused to take part in the proposed US-Russia peace talk over the ongoing war between key allies of President Bashar al-Assad and the government forces.
St. Petersburg, May 31 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Russian President Vladimir Putin said he hopes wrestling will be reinstated as an Olympic sport based on "just" and "well-reasoned" decision-making.
Washington, May 31 (ANI): Iran has been listed as the worst offender for boosting support for global terrorism to a huge extent, according to the US administration's annual report reflecting international trends in extremist violence.
Washington, May 31 (ANI): A new study has found that the Karo Batak, who mostly live in scattered rural villages in the northern part of the Indonesian island of Sumatra, deem women with big feet as more appealing.
Washington, May 31 (ANI): In a move that once again raised the hopes of wrestlers all over the world, the sport of wrestling won a reprieve and made the International Olympic Committee (IOC) list for the 2020 Olympics, three months after being dropped from the list.
Moscow, May 31 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Russia has blamed the Syrian National Coalition of attempting to disrupt resolution of the Syrian crisis and is pushing for foreign military intervention in the country.
Istanbul, May 31 (IANS) Syria's main opposition group in exile Thursday refused to participate in the Geneva peace talks, aimed at drawing up a blueprint of a political solution to the ongoing Syrian crisis, Xinhua reported.
Tehran, May 31 (IANS) Iran has strongly condemned the European Union's (EU) recent decision to lift its arms embargo against the Syrian rebels.
New Delhi, May 28 (ANI): What a country can do to itself, no other country can do better. Asked the other day, a former Indian intelligence official remarked that India does not have to do anything in Pakistan because they are doing a much better job of committing harakiri.
Moscow, May 28 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Russia is not willing to negotiate further bilateral nuclear cuts with the US until other nuclear powers join the process, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov has said.
New Delhi, May 27 (ANI): India and Iran on Monday reviewed the on-going cooperation in the hydrocarbons sector during the visit of Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Ghasemi.
New Delhi, May 27 (IANS) Sanction-hit Iran Monday discussed marine insurance and reinsurance on shipment of oil with India as it pressed for more crude purchases.
Washington, May 27 (ANI): The presidential election in Iran on June 14 is expected to produce a president loyal to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei and not improve prospects for an end to the country's nuclear standoff with the West.
Washington, May 27 (ANI): Republicans have slammed President Barack Obama for pushing to move the government away from a 'war footing and refine and recalibrate counterterrorism strategy'.
Tehran, May 26 (IANS) The economic condition of Iranians and the hardship that they have been facing in the past years top the presidential candidates' agenda in their campaign to win people's votes.
Tehran, May 26 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Iran has deployed "large numbers" of new long-range missile launchers, the country's semi-official news agency Fars reported Sunday.
New Delhi, May 26 (IANS) Iraq is likely to increase oil supply to India by around 30 percent as shipments from regional rival Iran drop following sanctions from the US and European countries, a senior Iraqi minister has said.
London, May 26 (ANI): The leader of the Lebanese Shia militant Hezbollah movement, Hassan Nasrallah, has promised his supporters of victory in Syria, where they are backing President Bashar al-Assad.
Tehran, May 25 (IANS) Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi denied Saturday that Iran has dispatched any military forces to Syria, reported Xinhua citing the semi-official Fars news agency.
New Delhi, May 24 (IANS) India and the US are in discussions to plan for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to America in the "near future".
Washington, May 24 (ANI): HSBC's controversial 1.9 billion-dollar settlement deal with American authorities over money laundering charges, has been stalled after a row between the Department of Justice and the judge overseeing the case.
Washington, May 23 (ANI): Tehran has reportedly upgraded its nuclear program by adding advanced uranium enrichment facilities and building a plutonium-producing reactor according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
London, May 23 (ANI): Worldwide popularity of India has fallen sharply over the last year, a new poll has found.
Moscow, May 22 (IANS ) Iran's first nuclear power plant in Bushehr could start working "shortly", Xinhua reported Wednesday, quoting Russia's state atomic energy agency Rosatom.
Manama, May 22 (IANS) Bahrain's Interior Minister Wednesday said an Iranian drone was spotted in Bahrain's airspace in the northern part of the country near Saudi Arabia.
London, May 22 (ANI): One of Iran's most reform-minded presidential candidates has been barred from contesting next month's presidential election.
Riyadh, May 22 (IANS) Saudi Arabia has arrested 10 people on suspicion of espionage for Iran, the interior ministry announced Tuesday.
Tehran, May 22 (IANS) Iranian legislative body has approved eligibility of eight presidential candidates for the June 14 poll in the country, Xinhua reported Tuesday.
Beijing, May 21 (Xinhua-ANI): The United States on Monday denounced Hezbollah for siding with the Syrian government forces in their battle against the rebels in Syria's central city of al-Qussair.
London, May 21 (ANI): Discrimination against Jews and Muslims is on the rise around the world, according to a new report in the US.
London, May 20 (ANI): Iranian authorities have executed two men after they were charged and convicted for spying Israel and the United States.
Islamabad, May 20 (ANI): An US-based Pakistani filmmaker has urged on a ban on Bollywood and Hollywood movies in Pakistan, and has offered his guidance and support to save the deteoriating Pakistani film industry.
Sydney, May 19 (ANI): Iran has reportedly gone into 'internet coma' by tightening internet controls ahead of next month's presidential election, mindful of violent protests inspired last time around over claims of fraud.
Washington, May 17 (ANI): The Pentagon is planning to request the lowest-ever annual supplemental budget from the government, about 79.5 billion dollars, which is the lowest cost for anti-terror war ongoing since 2005.
Tehran, May 19 (IANS) Two Iranian spies, allegedly working for America's Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Israel's Mossad were Sunday hanged in Iran, state-run IRIB TV reported.
London, May 17 (ANI): Iran's constitutional body, the Guardian Council, has ruled out women's participation in presidential elections as candidates.
Washington, May 16 (ANI): An al Qaeda-linked militant cell had planned to carry out suicide attacks on the French and US embassies in Egypt.
Tehran, May 15 (IANS) Iranian police seized 7.5 tons of narcotics in Saravan city in the past two months, Fars news agency reported Wednesday.
Vienna, May 15 (IANS) The IAEA will continue trying to finalize nuclear inspection documents regarding Iran's disputed nuclear programme in spite of differences between the two sides, an official said Wednesday.
United Nations, May 15 (IANS) Iranians and Americans are often at odds in international politics, but the possible exit of wrestling from the Olympic games brought them together in a hope to save the sport at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters in New York.
Tehran, May 14 (IANS/RIA Novosti) An Iranian government spokesman has dismissed a media report that claimed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad could face 74 lashes for breaking the country's election rules.
Speaking at a press conference here, Egypt's presidential spokesman Ehab Fahmi said: "Egypt considers Iran part of a solution to the Syrian crisis not part of the crisis, as some parties believe", and termed Iran an "influential" country in the region, reported Xinhua.
Islamabad, May 13 (ANI): The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), which is all set to form the next government in the centre, will revisit the foreign policy, including all 'covert and overt' agreements with the United States, according to a source.
Moscow, May 13 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Iranian Navy are all set to receive cruise missiles having a range of more than 300 km, a senior official with Iran's Aerospace Organisation said Sunday.
Islamabad, May 12 (ANI): Former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and the incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's close ally, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, have both registered as candidates for next month's presidential election.
Johannesburg, May 12 (ANI): Police in Egypt have arrested members of an al-Qaeda-linked cell that plotted to carry out a suicide bombing against a Western embassy and other targets in the country, the interior minister has said.
Tehran, May 12 (IANS/RIA Novosti) A total of 686 hopefuls, including 30 women, have registered for Iranian presidential election due June 14, the country's interior minister Mustafa Mohammad-Najjar has said.
Tehran, May 11 (IANS) One person was killed and 17 were injured while hundreds of homes were destroyed when a 6.2-magnitude earthquake jolted Iran Saturday, officials said.
Hyderabad, May 11 (IANS) Iran is looking for more business with India in non-oil sectors to boost the bilateral trade, said its Consul General Hassan Noorian who sees great potential for cooperation in various non-oil fields like pharma, IT, electronics, automobile spare parts and food processing.
Hyderabad, May 11 (IANS) Direct flights between Hyderabad and Iranian holy city of Mashhad are expected to start from June 30, said Iran's consul general here.
India is keenly watching the evolving political situation in Pakistan as it readies to vote Saturday in pivotal national and provincial elections whose outcome has serious implications for its national security, economy, national integration and regional peace.
Tehran, May 10 (IANS) The head coach of Iran's Persepolis soccer team Yahya Golmohammadi stepped down after poor results in the professional football league.
Jerusalem, May 10 (ANI): Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has told Chinese President Xi Jinping that a nuclear Iran would threaten the free flow of oil through the Hormuz Straits.