Big changes may be coming in the relationship between Iran and the United States. As a result of this, Iran may soon restore international relations with the U.S. and Western Europe, following years of sanctions and isolation from these countries. Its current prominence on the international stage warrants some basic understanding of this country for those of us who may not know it as well as we should.
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Iran (pronounced "eee-Rahn," not like it's an Apple product) is a Middle Eastern Country, situation between Iraq and Afghanistan. It also borders the Caspian Sea, Persian Gulf, and the Gulf of Oman. It is slightly smaller than the state of Alaska and, according to The World Factbook, home to nearly 82 million people. Over 99 percent of the population is Muslim, which is the official religion of the country. The official language is Persian, also called Farsi. Persian is also the majority ethnic group. Much of the land is arid but there are rugged mountains and subtropical regions along the Caspian.
If you only read headlines, Iran and it's people may strike you as one of the world's boogeymen. It's relationship with many countries is difficult and complicated but don't be lulled into homogenizing 82 million people. As Iran's place in the world is changing and developing, it may be the perfect time to allow your ideas about this country, and the people who live there, to follow suit.
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Read more about Iran:
The Council on Foreign Affairs: International Sanctions on Iran
Discovery News: Iran Says It's Cracked Data From Downed U.S. Spy Drone