Islamic Republic of Iran |
Jomhuri-ye Eslami-ye Iran
Once the thriving Persian empire, Iran is a Middle Eastern nation bordering the Gulf of Oman, Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea, between Iraq and Pakistan. With its capital in Tehran, Iran is comprised of 28 provinces: Ardabil, Azarbayjan-e Gharbi, Azarbayjan-e Sharqi, Bushehr, Chahar Mahall va Bakhtiari, Esfahan, Fars, Gilan, Golestan, Hamadan, Hormozgan, Ilam, Kerman, Kermanshah, Khorasan, Khuzestan, Kohkiluyeh va Buyer Ahmad, Kordestan, Lorestan, Markazi, Mazandaran, Qazvin, Qom, Semnan, Sistan va Baluchestan, Tehran, Yazd, Zanjan. An overwhelming majority, about 89% of Iranians, are Shi'a Muslims. Another 10% are Sunni. Iran is a diverse nation with 51% of its citizens being ethnic Persian. 24% are Azeri, 8% are Gilaki and Mazandarani, 7% are Kurd, 3% are Arab. Lur, Baloch and Turkmen are also represented. Most Iranians speak Farsi.
As a theocratic republic, the Qura'an holy book is the supreme rule of law. Islamic edicts are strictly enforced by the nation's leaders, who took control of Iran on April 1, 1979 by exiling the Persian Shah and the Royal Family. The head of state takes the title of Supreme Leader, a religious authority. Administration is the jurisdiction of the President and his Council of Ministers. Legislation is the jurisdiction of the unicameral Islamic Consultative Assembly or Majles-e-Shura-ye-Eslami.