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:
Islamabad, May 3 (IANS) Pakistan has condemned the April 28 burning of copies of the Quran by US pastor Terry Jones in Florida.
New Delhi, May 2 (IANS) In a crucial step, India is likely to invite Pakistan for a regional conference of investors on Afghanistan here next month that is aimed at creating regional support for economic stability of the violence-torn country.
London, May 2 (ANI): Experts have described Maoists as the growing threat to India's internal security, and one of the ways it can be tackled is by focussing on inclusive growth in areas under their influence.
Riyadh, May 2 (ANI): Security forces in Egypt foiled an Iranian plot to kill the Saudi ambassador in Cairo, the legal advisor of the kingdom's embassy, Sami Jamal, said. gypt 'arrested three Iranians planning to assassinate the ambassador, Ahmed Qattan,' Jamal said.
Tehran, May 1 (IANS) Iran finished overall winners at the Asian Weightlifting Championships Tuesday.
Washington, May 1 (ANI): Iran's Defense Minister has said that the deployment of US' most sophisticated stealth jet fighters to the United Arab Emirates will damage regional security.
Tehran, April 30 (IANS) Iran's national grid Monday received 940 megawatts of electricity from the country's Bushehr nuclear power plant.
Tehran, April 30 (IANS) The veto-wielding powers of the UN Security Council should work for the removal of sanctions against Iran, an Iranian lawmaker said Monday.
Jerusalem, Apr 30 (ANI): Israeli Government officials have rejected former chief of security agency Shin Bet, Yuval Diskin's criticism of the country's political leadership.
Jerusalem, Apr 29 (Xinhua-ANI): A recent poll carried out by an Israeli newspaper revealed that most Israelis are supportive of a strike on Iran if it is led by the United States.
Washington, Apr 30(ANI): A controversial Florida pastor has held another Koran-burning ceremony outside his church to protest against the imprisonment of a Christian clergyman in Iran.
Tehran, April 30 (IANS) Iran has called for regional security cooperation to maintain the security of the Persian Gulf, ISNA news agency reported.
Tehran, April 30 (IANS) Iranian Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi is hopeful that the next round of nuclear talks between the country and the world powers would be fruitful, ISNA news agency reported.
Tehran, Apr 29 (Xinhua-ANI): A senior Iranian lawmaker slammed the recent deployment of the U.S. F-22 Raptors in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the semi-official ISNA news agency reported on Sunday.
Tehran, Apr 29 (Xinhua-ANI): Iran has found a new natural gas field in the country's southwestern province of Khuzestan which is estimated to contain reserves as much as the South Pars gas field in the Persian Gulf, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported on Sunday.
Tehran, April 29 (IANS) Iran has discovered a major gas field, a media report said Sunday.
Mumbai, April 29 (IANS) Afflicted by misgovernance and corruption, India's global clout has waned over the past year but could swing back if the economy regains its growth trajectory, says a geopolitical power index (GPI) report by an independent Mumbai-based think tank.
Colombo, April 29 (IANS) Sri Lanka has rejected an Indian offer to upgrade a refinery that is built to refine only Iranian oil, a minister said Sunday.
New Delhi, April 29 (IANS) The idea of social Islam - the practised version of the faith - in conservative Muslim countries comes with a bias against the freedom of arts, says Islamic scholar, filmmaker and theatre personality Shama Zaidi.
Jerusalem, Apr 29 (ANI): Former Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin has criticized Israel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Ehud Barak over the country's 'messianic political leadership', which is misleading the public on issues related to Iran.
Colombo, April 29 (Xinhua-ANI): Sri Lanka has rejected an Indian offer to upgrade a local refinery which is built to refine only Iranian oil, a minister said on Sunday.
Doha, April 28 (IANS) India's Pankaj Advani and national champion Aditya Mehta entered the final of the Asian Snooker Championship here Saturday to set up an intriguing title clash.
Doha, April 28 (IANS) India's Pankaj Advani and Aditya Mehta continued to make steady progress as both the Indian top seeds reached the semi-finals of the Asian snooker championship here Saturday.
London, April 28 (IANS) The former chief of Israel's domestic intelligence agency has accused the country's leadership of "misleading" the public on the merits of a possible military strike on Iran, BBC reported.
Tehran, April 28 (IANS) Iran's permanent representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has said Tehran and the UN nuclear watchdog have agreed to hold a new round of talks on the nuclear issue May 13-14, the IRNA news agency reported.
Washington, Apr 28 (ANI): The Obama administration has said that they might allow Iran to continue enriching uranium up to five percent purity if it agrees to other United Nation restrictions.
Washington, Apr 28 (ANI): The United States' most sophisticated stealth jet fighters have been deployed on an allied base less than 200 miles from Iran, according to a report.
Washington, Apr 28 (ANI): US Republicans have fired back at Barack Obama's new ad campaign that suggests Osama bin Laden would probably still be alive if Republican contender Mitt Romney had been the president.
Islamabad, April 26 (IANS) A suicide bomber was shot dead and two of his companions sustained bullet injuries Thursday before they could attack a bus carrying Shia pilgrims in Pakistan's Quetta city, officials said.
New Delhi, April 26 (IANS) The US has not threatened to impose sanctions on India for having economic relations with Iran, parliament was told Thursday.
Jerusalem, Apr 25 (Xinhua-ANI): Israel's military chief said on Wednesday that Iran is unlikely to pursue nuclear weapons while stressing that a military option is prepared for such a prospect.
Damascus, April 24 (IANS) As the UN prepares to deploy 300 monitors and the US unveiled new sanctions, a car bomb Tuesday hit a suburb of Damascus, dealing a blow to the 12-day old UN-mandated ceasefire in the Middle East country.
Tehran, Apr 24 (ANI): Iran, which claims to have hacked software of an advanced US spy drone, is reportedly making overtures to China to potentially give them access to the sensitive aircraft technology.
Islamabad, Apr 24 (ANI): Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Monday said that all issues with India, including the withdrawal of troops from Siachen and the Kashmir dispute, must be resolved through dialogue.
Washington, Apr 24 (ANI): United States Defence Secretary Leon Panetta has dismissed Iran's claims that it had hacked software of an advanced American spy drone that was brought down on its territory last year, and is now building its own copies of the aircraft.
Tehran, April 24 (IANS) Calling for stronger ties with Baghdad, Iran Monday hailed the "growing influence" of Iraq in the Arab world.
Washington, April 24 (IANS) The US is planning to expand its intelligence operations against high-priority targets such as Iran as part of a new initiative, a media report said.
Washington, April 24 (IANS) The US Monday unveiled new sanctions against Iran and Syria for using "technologies to monitor and target citizens for violence".
Islamabad, April 23 (IANS) Admitting that the era of warfare has ended, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said Monday that all issues with India, including Kashmir and Siachen, must be resolved through dialogue.
Moscow, April 23 (IANS) A man in Russia, proclaiming to be "God", set himself ablaze and landed in hospital in a critical condition with 70 percent burns, RIA Novosti reported.
London, April 23 (ANI): The UK Border Agency, the organisation responsible for policing immigration law, could land in problems after figures revealed that less than one in three illegal immigrants caught last year had been deported.
Tehran, Apr 23 (ANI): Iran has reportedly hacked the software of an advanced US spy drone, which came down its territory last year and has started building its own copies of the aircraft.
Washington, April 22 (IANS) In the face of US sanctions on Iran, India has significantly reduced its oil imports from the country, though rising oil prices have caused immense problems for the Indian economy, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said here Sunday.
Jerusalem, April 22 (Xinhua-ANI): Israel's military chief Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz has said the army is prepared to launch an attack on Iran' s nuclear facilities once a government decision to that end is made.
Tehran, April 22 (Xinhua-ANI): Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al- Maliki arrived in Tehran on Sunday for an official two-day visit.
Tehran, April 22 (IANS) Women with some heart disease are more likely to give birth to girls, says a study conducted by a university in Iran. It found that 75 percent of the 216 children born to 200 pregnant women with diagnosed heart diseases were girls.
Perusing the front pages of Delhi newspapers, one gets the impression that the launch of the Agni-V intercontinental missile with a striking range of 5,000 km by India was a prominent but by no means sensational event even for Indians. There have been no overly emotional responses to it outside India either. One can't help drawing a parallel between this calm reaction and the media frenzy surrounding the failed launch of a ballistic missile by North Korea just a week ago. And when something of the kind happens in Iran, the reaction is even stronger.
Dubai, April 21 (IANS/WAM) The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has plans to adopt a new political strategy to handle issue of its islands, occupied by Iran.
London, April 20 (IANS/WAM) Britain has described the recent visit by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad to the disputed island of Abu Musa as "highly unfortunate".
Jakarta, April 20 (IANS) An Indonesia football coach has been banned for four games and fined by FIFA for accusing match officials of taking bribes during a 10-0 loss to Bahrain in World Cup qualifying.
Beijing, April 20 (Xinhua-ANI): China denied Friday a U.S. accusation that the progress China has made in space exploration should be partially attributed to espionage.
Tehran, April 19 (Xinhua-ANI): Iran's oil minister on Thursday asked the EU to reconsider its sanctions on the Islamic republic's oil exports.
Jakarta, April 19 (Xinhua-ANI): An Indonesia soccer coach has been banned for four games and fined by FIFA for accusing match officials of taking bribes during a 10-0 loss to Bahrain in World Cup qualifying, a media reported here.
Tehran, April 18 (Xinhua-ANI): Iranian Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi said Wednesday that he is hopeful about the results of next round of nuclear talks between Iran and five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany (P5+1), which is scheduled to on May 23 in Baghdad, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported.
Geneva, April 18 (Xinhua-ANI): The Swiss government on Wednesday announced its decision to extend its financial sanctions against Iran.
Tehran, April 18 (IANS) Iranian authorities have arrested 15 Israel-linked "spies" in the country, the official media reported Wednesday.
London, April 18 (ANI): Long term opium use, even in relatively low doses, may almost double the risk of death from many causes, particularly circulatory diseases, respiratory conditions and cancer, a new study has suggested.
Moscow, April 18 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Iranian Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi has said the country was making progress in the development and manufacture of an indigenous version of the Russian S-300 air defence missile system.
Moscow, April 16 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Iran has released two Russians detained in the country. No specific charges were filed by Tehran and the reasons behind their detention were not explained.
Tehran, Apr 16 (ANI): Iran has agreed to the formation of concrete proposals by diplomats for resolving the crisis over its nuclear ambitions.
London, Apr 16 (ANI): Search giant Google's co-founder Sergey Brin has warned that the principles of openness and universal access that underpinned the creation of the Internet three decades ago are under greater threat than ever.
Washington, Apr 16 (ANI): US President Barack Obama has said Washington has not 'given anything away' in new talks with Tehran, and defended his continued push for a diplomatic resolution on the dispute over Iran's nuclear programmes.
Istanbul, April 15 (IANS) Talks between six world powers and Iran on its nuclear programme have been described as "constructive and useful" by European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.
Imphal, April 15 (IANS) 'The Forlorn', a psychological thriller directed by Saptaswa Basu opened the first Imphal International Film Festival at the Rupmahal Theatre in Manipur capital Sunday. The festival will continue for four days.
Tehran, Apr 15 (ANI): Iran and six world powers have successfully conducted their first 'constructive' talks over Tehran's Iran's nuclear programme.
Beirut, April 15 (IANS) Lebanon has criticised the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's visit to the disputed island of Abu Musa.
London, April 14 (IANS) Key talks involving six major countries and Iran on Tehran's controversial nuclear programme, which resumed Saturday in Istanbul after a 15-month impasse, were described as "positive", even as Iran refused a request from the US for a bilateral meeting.
London, April 14 (IANS) Key talks involving six major countries and Iran on Tehran's controversial nuclear programme, which resumed Saturday after a 15-month impasse, have been described as "positive" by a European Union official.
London, April 14 (IANS) Key talks involving six major countries and Iran on Tehran's controversial nuclear programme, which resumed Friday after a 15-month impasse, have been described as "positive" by a European Union official.
New Delhi, April 13 (IANS) With growing demands for oil and gas and uncertainty looming over supplies from sanctions-hit Iran, India has sought to deepen energy ties with Qatar. The main focus of Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani's three-day visit to New Delhi early this week was deepening cooperation in the energy sector.
Islamabad, Apr 13(ANI): A joint session of the Pakistan parliament has unanimously approved new recommendations on ties with the United States.
Copenhagen, April 13 (IANS) A Danish warship apprehended a pirate ship off Somalia's coast and released 12 hostages, including a few Pakistanis, held on board, Denmark's navy said Thursday.
Abu Dhabi, April 12 (IANS/WAM) A friendly football match between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) national team against Iran, scheduled for April 17, has been cancelled, an official said Thursday.
Tehran, April 12 (IANS) Iran is plannig to cut imports from 100 European companies in response to Western sanctions against its oil exports, a media report said Wednesday.
Tehran, April 12 (IANS) Iran has said it will attend the planned nuclear talks in Istanbul later this week but will not compromise on its right to atomic energy.
Tehran, April 11 (ANI): The Intelligence Ministry of Iran has announced that security forces have arrested an Israel-backed terrorist team, planning to carry out attacks ahead of the crucial nuclear talks with the world powers in Istanbul.
Jakarta, Apr 11 (ANI): A massive 8.7 earthquake has struck off the western coast of Indonesia triggering fears of a "devastating" tsunami.
New Delhi/Hong Kong, April 11 (IANS) Many states along India's east coast felt tremors as a high intensity earthquake rocked Sumatra Wednesday, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said. A tsunami warning has been issued in India and 27 other countries
Hong Kong, April 11 (IANS) A tsunami alert has been sounded in 28 places across the world, including India, after a massive earthquake rocked Indonesia Wednesday.
Islamabad, Apr 11 (ANI): The Pakistan Kabaddi Federation (PKF) will be hosting a tri-nation series in September with India and Iran set to take part in game event.
Houston, April 11 (IANS) Iran's crude oil production is expected to fall by about 500,000 barrels per day by the end of this year due to a lack of investment resulting from sanctions against the country, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said.
Tehran, Apr 11 (ANI): Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has claimed that his country has enough reserves to withstand a total embargo on its oil sales for 'two to three years'.
Tehran, April 10 (IANS) Iran Tuesday said it has busted a terrorist cell linked to Israel and arrested a number of its members.
Washington, April 10 (ANI): The United States has reportedly sent Iran a message of intent by despatching two aircraft carriers to the Gulf region.
Washington, April 10 (ANI): The United States has reportedly sent Iran a message of intent by despatching two aircraft carriers to the Gulf region.
Tehran, Apr 10 (ANI): Iran has reportedly blocked access to the official site for the 2012 Olympics in London.
Astana (Kazakhstan), April 9 (IANS) Teenage boxer Shiva Thapa humbled Athens Olympics silver medallist Worapoj Petchkoon of Thailand to enter the semifinals of the 56 kg category at the Asian Olympic qualifying event here Monday. The Indian is now one step away from making the London Games.
Islamabad, Apr 9(ANI): Rogue nuclear scientist and architect of Pakistan's nuclear programme Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan has ruled out the possibility of any rollback of the country's nuclear programme.
London, Apr 9 (ANI): An Israeli air strike would not be able to destroy Iran's nuclear programme with its current airforce, an influential defence report has concluded.
Lahore, Apr 9(ANI): Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said that their 'best friend' China has advised his country to augment trade ties with India.
Tehran, April 8 (IANS) Iran will not stop high-grade uranium enrichment and it will also not close down the Fordo nuclear site, the country's nuclear chief told ISNA news agency Sunday.
Tehran, Apr 8 (ANI): A prominent Iranian politician has said that Tehran has the knowledge and skills to produce nuclear weapons, but will never do so.
In a surprising but secret move US has hinted that Tehran can have a civilian nuclear programme if it never pursues a nuclear weapon.
Washington, April 7 (IANS) In a secret message sent through a foreign leader to Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, US President Barack Obama hinted that Tehran can have a civilian nuclear programme if it never pursues a nuclear weapon, a media report said.
Tehran, April 7 (IANS) All 28 Chinese crew members on board a Chinese cargo ship hijacked by Somali pirates have been rescued, the Chinese embassy in Tehran said.
Lahore, Apr 6(ANI): Lahore Bar Association (LBA) President Chaudhary Zulfiqar Ali has said American President Barack Obama is the terrorist, not Jamaat -ud- Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saaed.
Washington, April 6 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Iran must not be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons, the US Department of Defense has said.
Tehran, April 5 (IANS) Kofi Annan, the UN-Arab League envoy, will travel to Tehran next Wednesday to hold talks with senior Iranian officials over Syria, his spokesman said Thursday.
Washington, Apr 5 (ANI): Madonna is reportedly keen on travelling across the world to play her music, even in areas that are on shaky ground.
Tehran, April 5 (IANS) Iran's national football team will play a friendly match against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in preparation for the final stage of Asian qualifying for the 2014 World Cup to be held in Brazil.