Geography Continent: SW Asia (Middle East) Landforms: Mountains, Deserts Waterways: Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz Famous Landmarks: None, too dangerous to visit Climate: Desert
Ancient History - Notes Iran has been inhabited since 1500 B.C. The Persians had a vast empire, but it was invaded and conquered several times in its history. It was ruled by many dynasties until WWII.
Modern History In 1979, Iran became an Islamic Theocracy – government ruled by religious leaders Ayatollah, the new leader, proceeded with his plans for revitalizing Islamic traditions. He urged women to return to wearing the veil, banned alcohol and Western music, shut down the media, closed universities, and eliminated political parties. Islamic culture requires women to be completely covered except for their eyes.
Women’s Rights In many Middle Eastern countries, women do not have many rights. Women must wear burqas and full covering in public. Women are not allowed to talk to men in public. Women are not allowed to drive a car. Many girls were not allowed to go to school or learn to read. They were not allowed to choose certain fields of study like engineering, etc.
Modern History Iran Hostage Crisis - Revolutionary militants invaded the U.S. embassy in Tehran on Nov. 4, 1979 and seized Americans as hostages. After a year of broken relations, the U.S. agreed to many of its original conditions: not to interfere in Iran's affairs, cancellation of U.S. damage claims against Iran and release of $8 billion in frozen Iranian assets. These conditions were largely met and the 52 American hostages were released on Jan. 20, 1981, ending 444 days in captivity.
Hard line policies Iran and the U.S. do not have friendly relations. One reason is that Iran has called for the destruction of the state of Israel. The president of Iran has been defiantly anti- Western and venomously anti-Israeli, announcing that Israel was a “disgraceful blot” that should be “wiped off the map.” Iran also supports terrorist groups in other countries. In Jan. 2002, U.S. President Bush announced that Iran was part of an “axis of evil,” calling it one of the most active state sponsors of international terrorism. With its support of terrorist groups, Iran has had a destabilizing influence in Iraq, Lebanon, and Afghanistan by providing equipment, training and funding to insurgents. Iran is seeking influence throughout the broader region by pursuing a nuclear capability and by supporting terrorists in the Palestinian Territories, southern Lebanon, Iraq, and western Afghanistan.
Iran is also trying to intimidate nearby Gulf states through its naval and missile power and nuclear weapons. By 2003, Iran was fanning much of the world's suspicions that it had illegal nuclear ambitions. In Aug. 2005, Ahmadinejad rejected an EU disarmament plan that was backed by the U.S. and had been under negotiation for two years. The U.S. and other countries are still trying to convince Iran to halt its development of nuclear weapons. Modern History
Very few rights for women, Iran Hostage Crisis, Iran wants to destroy Israel, supports terrorists, and has nuclear weapons. No friendly relations between Iran and U.S. due to these issues Modern History - Notes
Government Past Government: Monarchies (dynasties) Government Today: Islamic theocracy (gov’t ruled by religious leaders) –s–strict Islamic traditions –f–few individual rights, especially for women –g–government banned Western influences
Chief of State: Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (1989) President: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (2005) Current Leadership
Monetary unit: Rial $1 USD = 12,282.60 IRR ریال Population: 68,688,433 Capital city: Tehran Industries: Agriculture, Oil OPEC: Founding member, –Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries Desertification - process by which fertile land becomes a desert as a result of drought, deforestation, or overuse of agriculture. Economy
Iran has the 5 th largest oil reserves in the world. Exports: $38 billion dollars in petroleum (80%)