Iran

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Coordinates: 32°N 53°E / 32°N 53°E / 32; 53

Iran (Persia[7][8][9][10], Persian: ایران, pronounced /ɪˈrɑːn/  ( listen) or English pronunciation: //ɪˈræn//, [ʔiˈɾɒn]  ( listen)), officially the Islamic Republic of Iran is a country in Central Eurasia and Western Asia.[11][12] The name Iran has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was also known to the western world as Persia.[7] Both Persia and Iran are used interchangeably in cultural contexts; however, Iran is the name used officially in political contexts.[8][9]

The 18th largest country in the world in terms of area at 1,648,195 km2 (636,372 sq mi), Iran has a population of over 74 million.[13] It is a country of particular geostrategic significance owing to its location in the Middle East and central Eurasia. Iran is bordered on the north by Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. As Iran is a littoral state of the Caspian Sea, which is an inland sea and condominium, Kazakhstan and Russia are also Iran's direct neighbors 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, on the west by Iraq and on the northwest by Turkey. Tehran is the capital, the country's largest city and the political, cultural, commercial and industrial center of the nation. Iran is a regional power,[14][15] and holds an important position in international energy security and world economy as a result of its large reserves of petroleum and natural gas.

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