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Facts about Iran for Kids


Iran officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered to the northwest by Armenia, the de facto independent Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and Azerbaijan; with Kazakhstan and Russia across the Caspian Sea; to the northeast by Turkmenistan; to the east by Afghanistan and Pakistan; to the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman; and to the west by Turkey and Iraq.

  • With 78.4 million inhabitants, Iran is the world’s 17th most populous nation.
  • It is the only country that has both a Caspian Sea and an Indian Oceancoastline.
  • Iran has long been of geostrategic importance because of its central location in Eurasia and Western Asia, and its proximity to the Strait of Hormuz.
  • The Iranian Medes unified the area into the first of many empires in 625 BC, after which it became the dominant cultural and political power in the region.
  • Iran reached the pinnacle of its power during the Achaemenid Empire founded by Cyrus the Great in 550 BC, which at its greatest extent comprised major portions of the ancient world, stretching from parts of the Balkans and Eastern Europe proper in the west, to the Indus Valley in the east, making it the largest empire the world had yet seen.
  • Starting in 1736 under Nader Shah, Iran reached its greatest territorial extent since the Sassanid Empire, briefly possessing what was arguably the most powerful empire in the world.
  • In the course of the 19th century, Iran irrevocably lost swaths of its territories in the Caucasus region which made part of the concept of Iran for three centuries, to neighboring Imperial Russia.
  • The Persian Constitutional Revolution of 1906 established the nation’s first parliament, which operated within a constitutional monarchy.
  • Its unique political system, based on the 1979 constitution, combines elements of a parliamentary democracy with a theocracy governed by the country’s clergy, wherein the Supreme Leader wields significant influence.
  • A multicultural nation comprising numerous ethnic and linguistic groups, most inhabitants are officially Shia, Iranian rial is the currency, and Persian is the official language.
  • According to Guinness World Records, the empire at its peak ruled over 44% of the world’s population, the highest such figure for any empire in history.
  • The prolonged Byzantine-Sassanid Wars, most importantly the climactic Byzantine-Sassanid War of 602-628, as well as the social conflict within the Sassanid Empire, opened the way for an Arab invasion to Iran in the 7th century.
  • As a result, thereof, the modern-day Iran and the Republic of Azerbaijan are the only official Shia nations of the world, with it holding an absolute majority in both nations, and having the 1st and 2nd highest number of Shia inhabitants by population percentage in the world.
  • During the 2009 Iranian presidential election, the Interior Ministry announced incumbent president Ahmadinejad had won 62.63% of the vote, while Mir-Hossein Mousavi had come in second place with 33.75%.
  • Iran has leading manufacturing industries in the fields of car-manufacture and transportation, construction materials, home appliances, food and agricultural goods, armaments, pharmaceuticals, information technology, power and petrochemicals in the Middle East.
  • Historically, Zoroastrianism was the dominant religion in Iran, particularly during the Achaemenid, Parthian and Sassanid empires.