Islamic Republic of Iran, is a
sovereign state in Western Asia. It is bordered to the northwest by Armenia,
the de facto independent Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, the Republic of Azerbaijan,
and the exclave of Nakhchivan; to the north by the Caspian Sea; to the
northeast by Turkmenistan; to the east by Afghanistan and Pakistan; to the
south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman; and to the west by Turkey and
Iraq. Iran is located at a strategic point between Asia and Europe, and has access to open sea.
over 79.92 million inhabitants (as of March 2017), Iran is the world's
18th-most-populous country. Comprising a land area of 1,648,195 km2 (636,372 sq mi), it
is the second-largest country in the Middle East and the 18th-largest in the
world. It is the only country with both a Caspian Sea and an Indian Ocean
coastline. The country's central location in Eurasia and Western Asia, and its
proximity to the Strait of Hormuz, make it of great geostrategic importance.
Tehran is the country's capital and largest city, as well as its leading
economic and cultural center.
Iran is a founding member of the UN, ECO, NAM, OIC, and
OPEC. It is a major regional and middle power, and its large reserves of fossil
fuels – which include the world's largest natural gas supply and the fourth-largest
proven oil reserves – exert considerable influence in international energy
security and the world economy.
The country's rich cultural legacy is reflected in part by
its 21 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the third-largest number in Asia and
11th-largest in the world. Iran is a multicultural country comprising numerous
ethnic and linguistic groups, the largest being Persians (61%), Azeris (16%),
Kurds (10%), and Lurs (6%).
The economy of Iran is a diversified economy with over 30 sectors directly involved in the Tehran Stock Exchange.