Iran is the 18th largest country of the world, currently holding about 72,000,000 people inside its
7,000,000 km perimeter. Iran has a vast variety of flora and fauna, much like a more compact
version of the United States. Although Iran has a small Arab minority, mainly in the south and
near the Iraq border, Iranians are not Arab and they will be very insulted if you call them that
The police won't save you.
Iran is an old country, dating back to 900 B.C. (or 3200 B.C. if you count Elam). Iran's
history is divided into two parts by historians,
Iranians have called their country "Iran" since ancient times, the name being ultimately
or "land of the Aryans". The first Iranian empire had its
origins in Fars province (Parsa in Old Persian), so the Greeks called the country "Persis,"
whence "Persia" is derived .That name was used in the West until 1935, when the Shah
politely asked everyone to start using the name Iran.
At one point or another throughout its history, Iran has had Egypt, Babylon,
Mesopotamia, Transoxiana, the Caucasus, Punjab, and northern Greece under its rule, all
of which has been lost to various other empires, such as the Arabs, Mongols, Russia and
Iran uses a solar calendar, invented by the famous
. Each year starts at the
first day of spring, celebrated by a traditional holiday named
Iran's official language is
or Farsi, and the official script is the Arabic alphabet
with the addition of four letters to make up for sounds which Arabic lacks.
Persian is not related to Arabic, despite the large number of loanwords. Persian is
an Indo-European language, which makes it related to Hindi and most languages
spoken in Europe, including English. Old Persian was rather similar to Sanskrit,
though it evolved and picked up a fair amount of vocabulary from Arabic.