Portal:Iran

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The Iran Portal

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به درگاه سرزمین ایران خوش آمدید
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Iran, (Persian: ايران‎, Īrān; pronunciation: [iːˈɾɒn]), officially the Islamic Republic of Iran (Persian: جمهوری اسلامی ايران‎, transliteration: Jomhūrī-ye Eslāmī-ye Īrān), formerly known internationally as Persia, is a country in Western Asia and Central Asia. The 18th largest country in the world, Iran is approximately the size of the United Kingdom, France, Spain, and Germany combined and has a population of over 75 million people. Iran borders Armenia, Azerbaijan, to the north-west, Russia and Kazakhstan through the Caspian Sea to the north, Turkmenistan to the north-east, Afghanistan and Pakistan to the east, and Turkey and Iraq to the west. In addition, it borders the Persian Gulf, an important oil-producing area, and the Caspian sea. Shi'a Islam is the official state religion and Persian the official language. The political system of Iran comprises several intricately connected governing bodies and is based on the 1979 Constitution. The highest state authority is the Supreme Leader, currently served by Ali Khamenei.

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

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Tehran Stock Exchange's main index (1999–2011).

The Tehran Stock Exchange is Iran's largest stock exchange, which first opened in 1967. The TSE is based in Tehran. As of May 2012, 339 companies with a combined market capitalization of US$104.21 billion were listed on TSE. TSE, which is a founding member of the Federation of Euro-Asian Stock Exchanges, has been one of the world's best performing stock exchanges in the years 2002 through 2011. TSE is an emerging or "frontier" market. The most important advantage that Iran's capital market has in comparison with other regional markets is that there are 37 industries directly involved in it. Industries such as the automotive, telecommunications, agriculture, petrochemical, mining, steel iron, copper, banking and insurance, financial mediation and others trade shares at the stock market, which makes it unique in the Middle East. The second advantage is that most of the state-owned firms are being privatized under the general policies of article 44 in the Iranian constitution. Iran is among the few major economies that has maintained positive economic growth despite the 2008 global financial crisis and international sanctions.

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Broadleaf deciduous forest in Gīlān Province, Iran
Credit: Argooya

Rud Khan Fort in The Jungles of Gilan Province, Iran.

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

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Ruhollah Khomeini
Before the revolution I thought there are appropriate individuals who would do the job according to Islam, therefore I repeatedly said that clerics would go after their own job. Then I saw that most of them were inappropriate individuals and I found out that what I said was not true, so I came and clearly announced that I was wrong.

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