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12 octobre 2011 3 12 /10 /octobre /2011 09:15

Islamic Republic (1979-present)

The Iranian Revolution, also known as the Islamic Revolution,began in January 1978 with the first major demonstrations against the Shah. After strikes and demonstrations paralyzed the country and its economy, the Shah fled the country in January 1979 and Ayatollah Khomeinireturned from exile to Tehran.Sony VGP-BPL7 Battery

The Pahlavi Dynasty collapsed ten days later, on 11 February, when Iran's military declared itself "neutral" after guerrillas and rebel troops overwhelmed troops loyal to the Shah in armed street fighting. Iran officially became an Islamic Republic on 1 April 1979, when Iranians overwhelmingly approved a national referendum to make it so.Sony VGP-BPS7 Battery

In December 1979, the country approved a theocratic constitution, whereby Khomeini became Supreme Leader of the country. The speed and success of the revolution surprised many throughout the world, as it had not been precipitated by a military defeat, a financial crisis, or a peasant rebellion.Sony VGP-BPL8 Battery

Although both nationalists and Marxists joined with Islamic traditionalists to overthrow the Shah, tens of thousands were killed and executed by the Islamic regime afterward, and the revolution ultimately resulted in an Islamic Republic under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.Sony VGP-BPL8A Battery

Iran – United States relations deteriorated rapidly during the revolution. On 4 November 1979, a group of Iranian students seized US embassy personnel, labeling the embassy a "den of spies". They accused its personnel of being CIA agents plotting to overthrow the revolutionary government, as the CIA had done to Mosaddegh in 1953. Sony VGP-BPL8B Battery

While the student ringleaders had not asked for permission from Khomeini to seize the embassy, Khomeini nonetheless supported the embassy takeover after hearing of its success.

While most of the female and African American hostages were released within the first months, the remaining 52 hostages were held for 444 days.Sony VGP-BPS8 Battery

Subsequent attempts by the Jimmy Carter administration to negotiate or rescue were unsuccessful. In January 1981 the hostages were set free according to the Algiers Accords.

Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein decided to take advantage of what he perceived to be disorder in the wake of the Iranian Revolution and its unpopularity with Western governments. Sony VGP-BPS8A Battery

The once-strong Iranian military had been disbanded during the revolution. Saddam sought to expand Iraq's access to the Persian Gulf by acquiring territories that Iraq had claimed earlier from Iran during the Shah's rule. Of chief importance to Iraq was Khuzestan which not only has a substantial Arab population, but boasted rich oil fields as well.Sony VGP-BPS8B Battery

On the unilateral behalf of the United Arab Emirates, the islands of Abu Musa and the Greater and Lesser Tunbs became objectives as well. On 22 September 1980 the Iraqi army invaded Iran at Khuzestan, precipitating the Iran–Iraq War.Sony VGP-BPL9 Battery

Although Saddam Hussein's forces made several early advances, by 1982, Iranian forces managed to push the Iraqi army back into Iraq. Khomeini sought to export his Islamic revolution westward into Iraq, especially on the majority Shia Arabs living in the country. Sony VGP-BPS9 Battery

The war then continued for six more years until 1988, when Khomeini, in his words, "drank the cup of poison" and accepted a truce mediated by the United Nations. The total Iranian casualties of the war were estimated to be anywhere between 500,000 and 1,000,000; with more than 100,000 Iranians being victims of Iraq's chemical weapons.Sony VGP-BPS9/B Battery

Almost all relevant international agencies have confirmed that Saddam engaged in chemical warfare to blunt Iranian human wave attacks; these agencies unanimously confirmed that Iran never used chemical weapons during the war.Sony VGP-BPS9/S Battery

Following the Iran–Iraq War President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and his administration concentrated on a pragmatic pro-business policy of rebuilding and strengthening the economy without making any dramatic break with the ideology of the revolution.Sony VGP-BPS9A Battery

Rafsanjani served until 1997 when he was succeeded by the moderate reformist Mohammad Khatami. During his two terms as president, Khatami advocated freedom of expression, tolerance and civil society, constructive diplomatic relations with other states including European Union and Asian governments, and an economic policy that supported free market and foreign investment.Sony VGP-BPS9A/B Battery

However, Khatami is widely regarded as having been unsuccessful in achieving his goal of making Iran more free and democratic. In the 2005 presidential elections, Iran made yet another change in political direction, when conservative populist candidate Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected over Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.Sony VGP-BPS9A/S Battery

A significant challenge to Ahmadinejad's political power, and the foundations of the Islamic Republic itself occurred during the 2009 Iranian presidential election that was held on 12 June 2009,the tenth presidential election to be held in the country.Sony VGP-BPS9B Battery

The Interior Ministry, announced incumbent presidentMahmoud Ahmadinejad had won the election with 62.63% receiving 24.5 million vote, while Mir-Hossein Mousavi had come in second place with 13.2 million votes 33.75%. The European Union and several western countries expressed concern over alleged irregularities during the vote,Sony VGP-BPX11 Battery

and many analysts and journalists from the United States and United Kingdom news media voiced doubts about the authenticity of the results.

Mousavi issued a statement accusing the Interior Ministry, which was responsible for conducting the election, of widespread election fraud and urged his supporters to engage in peaceful protests. Sony VGP-BPL18 Battery

He also lodged an official appeal with the Guardian Council for new and more transparent elections. Protests, in favour of Mousavi and against the alleged fraud, broke out in Tehran. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei urged the nation to unite behind Ahmadinejad, labeling his victory as a "divine assessment".Sony VGP-BPS18 Battery

Khamenei then announced there would be an investigation into vote-rigging claims.

On 16 June, the Guardian Council announced it would recount 10% of the votes and concluded there were no irregularities at all, dismissing all election complaints.Sony VGP-BPL20 Battery

However, Mousavi stated that a recount would not be sufficient since he claimed 14 million unused ballots were missing, giving the Interior Ministry an opportunity to manipulate the results. On 19 June, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei denounced the pro-Mousavi demonstrations as illegal,Sony VGP-BPS20/B Battery

and protests the next day were met with stiff resistance from government forces, with many reported deaths. Independent polls have not contradicted official turnout of 2009 election, which gave around 60% of vote to Ahmadinejad. Sony VGP-BPS20/S Battery

Culture

The culture of Iran is a mix of ancient pre-Islamic culture and Islamic culture. Iranian culture has long been a predominant culture of the Middle East andCentral Asia, with Persian considered the language of intellectuals during much of the 2nd millennium, and the language of religion and the populace before that.Sony VGP-BPL21 Battery

The Sassanid era was an important and influential historical period in Iran as Iranian culture influenced China, India and Roman civilization considerably, and so influenced as far as Western Europe and Africa. This influence played a prominent role in the formation of both Asiatic and European medieval art.Sony VGP-BPS21 Battery

This influence carried forward to the Islamic world. Much of what later became known as Islamic learning, such as philology, literature, jurisprudence,philosophy, medicine, architecture and the sciences were based on some of the practises taken from the Sassanid Persians to the broader Muslim world.Sony VGP-BPS21/S Battery

After Islamization of Iran Islamic rituals have penetrated in the Iranian culture. The most noticeable one of them is commemoration of Husayn ibn Ali. Every year in Day of Ashura most of Iranians, including Armenians and Zoroastrians participate in mourning for the martyrs of battle of Karbala. Sony VGP-BPS21A Battery

Daily life in modern Iran is closely interwoven with Shia Islam and the country's art, literature, and architecture are an ever-present reminder of its deep national tradition and of a broader literary culture.

The Iranian New Year (Nowruz) is an ancient tradition celebrated on 21 March to mark the beginning of spring in Iran.Sony VGP-BPS21A/B Battery

It is also celebrated in Afghanistan, Republic of Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and previously also in Georgia and Armenia. It is also celebrated by the Iraqi and Anatolian Kurds. Nowruz was registered on the list of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity  and described as the Persian New Year by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2009.Sony VGP-BPS21B Battery

Language and literature

Article 15 of the Iranian constitution states that the "Official language (of Iran)... is Persian...[and]... the use of regional and tribal languages in the press and mass media, as well as for teaching of their literature in schools, is allowed in addition to Persian."Sony VGP-BPL22 Battery

Persian serves as a lingua franca in Iran and most publications and broadcastings are in this language.

Next to Persian, there are many publications and broadcastings in other relatively popular languages of Iran such as Azeri, Kurdish and even in less popular ones such as Arabic and Armenian. Sony VGP-BPS22 Battery

Many languages originated in Iran, but Persian is the most used language. Persian belongs to the Iranian branch of the family of Indo-European languages. The oldest records in Old Persian date to the Achaemenid Empire, and examples of Old Persian have been found in present-day Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Egypt.Sony VGP-BPS22/A Battery

In the late 8th century, Persian was highly Arabized and written in a modified Arabic script. This caused a movement supporting the revival of Persian. An important event of this revival was the writing of the Shahname by Ferdowsi (Persian: Epic of Kings), Iran's national epic, which is said to have been written entirely in native Persian. Sony VGP-BPS22A Battery

This gave rise to a strong reassertion of Iranian national identity, and is in part credited for the continued existence of Persian as a separate language.

Persian beside Arabic has been a medium for literary and scientific contributions to the Islamic world especially in Anatolia, central Asia and Indian subcontinent. Sony VGP-BPL23 Battery

Poetry is a very important part of Persian culture. Poetry is used in many Persian classical works, whether from literature, science, or metaphysics. Persian literature has been considered by such thinkers as Goethe as one of the four main bodies of world literature.Sony VGP-BPS23 Battery

The Persian language has produced a number of famous poets; however, only a few poets as Rumi and Omar Khayyám have surfaced among western popular readership, even though the likes of Hafiz, Saadi, Nizami Attar, Sanai, Nasir Khusraw, Jami are considered by many Iranians to be just as influential. Sony VGP-BPS23/B Battery

The books of famous poets have been translated into western languages since 1634.

Philosophy

While there are ancient relations between the Indian Vedas and the Iranian Avesta, the two main families of the ancient Indo-Iranian philosophical traditions were characterized by fundamental differences in their implications for the human being's position in society and their view on the role of man in the universe.Sony VGP-BPS23/D Battery

Iranian philosophy after the acceptance of Islam in Persia, is characterized by different interactions with the Ancient Iranian Philosophy, the Ancient Greek philosophy and with the development ofIslamic philosophy. Illuminationism and transcendent theosophy are regarded as two of the main philosophical traditions of that era in Persia.Sony VGP-BPS23/G Battery

Among important contributors to philosophy in Iran areZoroaster, Jamasp, Mardan-Farrux Ohrmazddadan, Adurfarnbag Farroxzadan, Adurbad Emedan, Iranshahri, Farabi, Avicenna, Suhrawardi, Nasir Khusraw, Biruni, Muhammad ibn Zakariya al-Razi,Sony VGP-BPS23/P Battery

Abu Yaqub al-Sijistani, Nasir al-Din Tusi, Qutb al-Din Shirazi, Mir Damad, Mulla Sadra, Mir Fendereski and Hadi Sabzevari.

Music

The musical culture of Persia, while distinct, is closely related to other musical systems of the Middle East and Central Asia. Sony VGP-BPS23/W Battery

It has also affinities to the music cultures of the Indian subcontinent, to a certain degree even to those of Africa, and, in the period after 1800 particularly, to that of Europe. Its history can be traced to some extent through these relationships. Like that of most of the world’s cultures, the music of Persia has depended on oral/aural transmission and learning.Sony Limited Edition 007 Battery

Cinema

Iranian cinema has thrived in modern Iran, and many Iranian directors have garnered worldwide recognition for their work. Iranian movies have won over three hundred awards in the past twenty-five years. One of the best-known directors is Abbas Kiarostami.Sony VAIO VGC-LB15 Battery

The media of Iran is a mixture of private and state-owned, but books and movies must be approved by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance before being released to the public. The Internet has become enormously popular among the Iranian youth. Iran is now the world's fourth largest country of bloggers.Sony VGN-AR Series Battery

Art and architecture

Greater Iran is home to one of the richest artistic traditions in world history and encompasses many disciplines, including architecture, painting, weaving, pottery, calligraphy, metalworking andstonemasonry. Carpet-weaving is one of the most distinguished manifestations of Persian culture and art, and dates back to ancient Persia. Sony VGN-CR Series Battery

Persians were among the first to use mathematics,geometry, and astronomy in architecture and also have extraordinary skills in making massive domes which can be seen frequently in the structure of bazaars and mosques. The main building types of classical Iranian architecture are the mosque and the palace. Sony VIAO VGN-G Series Battery

Besides being home to a large number of art houses and galleries, Iran also holds one of the largest and most valuable jewel collections in the world.

Iran ranks seventh among countries in the world with the most archeological architectural ruins and attractions from antiquity as recognized by UNESCO.Sony VIAO VGN-G118 Battery

Fifteen of UNESCO's World Heritage Sitesare creations of Iranian architecture.

The cuisine of Iran is diverse, with each province featuring dishes, as well as culinary traditions and styles, distinct to their regions. The main Persian cuisines are combinations of rice with meat, chicken or fish and some onion, vegetables, nuts, and herbs. Sony VIAO VGN-G118CN/B Battery

Herbs are frequently used along with fruits such as plums, pomegranates, quince, prunes, apricots, and raisins. Iranians also usually eat plain yoghurt (Persian: ????, m?st) with lunch and dinner; it is a staple of the diet in Iran. To achieve a balanced taste, characteristic flavourings such as saffron, dried limes, cinnamon, and parsley are mixed delicately and used in some special dishes.Sony VIAO VGN-G118CN/T Battery

Onions and garlic are normally used in the preparation of the accompanying course, but are also served separately during meals, either in raw or pickled form. Iran is also famous for its caviar. Iranian food is not piquant.

Sports

With two thirds of Iran's population under the age of 25, many sports are practised in Iran, both traditional and modern. Sony VIAO VGN-G218 Battery

Iran is the birthplace of polo, andVarzesh-e Pahlavani. Freestyle wrestling has been traditionally regarded as Iran's national sport, however today, the most popular sport in Iran is football (soccer), with the national team having reached the World Cup Final Tournament three times, and having won the Asian Cup on three occasions. Sony VGN-TZ121 Battery

In 1974, Iran became the first country in the Middle East to host the Asian Games. Iran is home to several unique skiing resorts, with the Tochal resort being the world's fifth-highest ski resort (3,730 m/12,238 ft at its highest station), and located only fifteen minutes away from Tehran. Sony VGN-TZ13 Battery

Being a mountainous country, Iran is a venue for hiking, rock climbing,  and mountain climbing.

Government and politics

The political system of the Islamic Republic is based on the 1979 Constitution. Accordingly, it is the duty of the Islamic government to furnish all citizens with equal and appropriate opportunities, to provide them with work, and to satisfy their essential needs, so that the course of their progress may be assured.Sony VGN-TZ131 Battery

The system comprises several intricately connected governing bodies. The Leader of the Revolution (commonly called "Supreme Leader" in the US and the UK) is responsible for delineation and supervision of the general policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran.Sony VGN-TZ132N Battery

The Supreme Leader is Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, controls the military intelligence and security operations; and has sole power to declare war or peace.

The heads of the judiciary, state radio and television networks, the commanders of the police and military forces and six of the twelve members of the Guardian Council are appointed by the Supreme Leader.Sony VGN-TZ132/N Battery

The Assembly of Experts elects and dismisses the Supreme Leader on the basis of qualifications and popular esteem.  The Assembly of Experts is responsible for supervising the Supreme Leader in the performance of legal duties.

After the Supreme Leader, the Constitution defines the President of Iran as the highest state authority.Sony VGN-TZ17N Battery

The President is elected by universal suffrage for a term of four years and can only be re-elected for one term.Presidential candidates must be approved by the Guardian Council prior to running in order to ensure their allegiance to the ideals of the Islamic revolution.Sony VGN-TZ16N Battery

The President is responsible for the implementation of the Constitution and for the exercise of executive powers, except for matters directly related to the Supreme Leader, who has the final say in all matters. The President appoints and supervises the Council of Ministers, coordinates government decisions, and selects government policies to be placed before the legislature.Sony VGN-TZ18N Battery

Eight Vice-Presidents serve under the President, as well as a cabinet of twenty two ministers, who must all be approved by the legislature. Unlike many other states, the executive branch in Iran does not control the armed forces. Although the President appoints the Ministers of Intelligence and Defense,Sony VAIO VGN-AR47G/E1 Battery

it is customary for the President to obtain explicit approval from the Supreme Leader for these two ministers before presenting them to the legislature for a vote of confidence. Iran's current president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was first elected in a run-off poll in the 2005 presidential elections and re-elected in the 2009 presidential elections.Sony VAIO VGN-AR520E Battery

As of 2011, the legislature of Iran (known in English as the Islamic Consultative Assembly) is a unicameral body.Before the Iranian Revolution, the legislature was bicameral, but the upper house was removed under the new constitution. The Majlis of Iran comprises 290 members elected for four-year terms.Sony VAIO VGN-AR53DB Battery

The Majlis drafts legislation, ratifies international treaties, and approves the national budget. All Majlis candidates and all legislation from the assembly must be approved by the Guardian Council.

The Guardian Council comprises twelve jurists including six appointed by the Supreme Leader. The others are elected by the Parliament from among the jurists nominated by the Head of the Judiciary.Sony VAIO VGN-AR54DB Battery

The Council interprets the constitution and may veto Parliament. If a law is deemed incompatible with the constitution or Sharia (Islamic law), it is referred back to Parliament for revision. In a controversial exercise of its authority, the Council has drawn upon a narrow interpretation of Iran's constitution to veto parliamentary candidates. Sony VAIO VGN-AR550E Battery

The Expediency Councilhas the authority to mediate disputes between Parliament and the Guardian Council, and serves as an advisory body to the Supreme Leader, making it one of the most powerful governing bodies in the country.

The Supreme Leader appoints the head of Iran's Judiciary, who in turn appoints the head of the Supreme Court and the chief public prosecutor.Sony VAIO VGN-AR55DB Battery

There are several types of courts including public courts that deal with civil and criminal cases, and "revolutionary courts" which deal with certain categories of offenses, including crimes against national security. The decisions of the revolutionary courts are final and cannot be appealed.Sony VAIO VGN-AR630E Battery

The Special Clerical Court handles crimes allegedly committed by clerics, although it has also taken on cases involving lay people. The Special Clerical Court functions independently of the regular judicial framework and is accountable only to the Supreme Leader. The Court's rulings are final and cannot be appealed.Sony VAIO VGN-AR64DB Battery

The Assembly of Experts, which meets for one week annually, comprises 86 "virtuous and learned" clerics elected by adult suffrage for eight-year terms. As with the presidential and parliamentary elections, the Guardian Council determines candidates' eligibility.Sony VAIO VGN-AR65DB Battery

The Assembly elects the Supreme Leader and has the constitutional authority to remove the Supreme Leader from power at any time.It has not challenged any of the Supreme Leader's decisions.

Local City Councils are elected by public vote to four-year terms in all cities and villages of Iran. Sony VAIO VGN-AR660U Battery

According to article seven of Iran's Constitution, these local councils together with the Parliament are "decision-making and administrative organs of the State". This section of the constitution was not implemented until 1999 when the first local council elections were held across the country. Sony VAIO VGN-AR690U Battery

Councils have many different responsibilities including electing mayors, supervising the activities of municipalities; studying, planning, co-ordinating and implementing of social, cultural, educational, health, economic, and welfare requirements of their constituencies.Sony VAIO VGN-AR71ZU Battery

Foreign relations and military

Iran's foreign relations are based on two strategic principles: eliminating outside influences in the region and pursuing extensive diplomatic contacts with developing and non-aligned countries.Sony VAIO VGN-AR730E/B Battery

Iran maintains diplomatic relations with almost every member of the United Nations, except for Israel, which Iran does not recognize, and the United States since the Iranian Revolution. Since 2005,Iran's nuclear program has become the subject of contention with the Western world due to suspicions that Iran could divert the civilian nuclear technology to a weapons program.Sony VAIO VGN-AR73DB Battery

This has led the UN Security Council to impose sanctions against Iran on select companies linked to this program, thus furthering its economic isolation on the international scene. The US Director of National Intelligencesaid in February 2009 that Iran would not realistically be able to a get a nuclear weapon until 2013, if it chose to develop one.Sony VAIO VGN-AR74DB Battery

The Islamic Republic of Iran has two types of armed forces: the regular forces Islamic Republic of Iran Army, Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force, Islamic Republic of Iran Navy and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), totaling about 545,000 active troops. Sony VAIO VGN-AR75UDB Battery

Iran also has around 350,000 Reserve Force totaling around 900,000 trained troops. Iran has a paramilitary, volunteer militia force within the IRGC, called the Basij, which includes about 90,000 full-time, active-duty uniformed members. Up to 11 million men and women are members of the Basij who could potentially be called up for service; Sony VAIO VGN-AR790U/B Battery

GlobalSecurity.org estimates Iran could mobilize "up to one million men". This would be among the largest troop mobilizations in the world. In 2007, Iran's military spending represented 2.6% of the GDP or $102 per capita, the lowest figure of the Persian Gulf nations. Iran's military doctrine is based on deterrence. Sony VAIO VGN-AR820E Battery

Since the Iranian Revolution, to overcome foreign embargo, Iran has developed its own military industry, produced its own tanks, armored personnel carriers, guided missiles, submarines, military vessels, guided missile destroyer, radar systems, helicopters and fighter planes.Sony VAIO VGN-AR830E Battery

In recent years, official announcements have highlighted the development of weapons such as the Hoot, Kowsar, Zelzal, Fateh-110, Shahab-3 and Sajjil missiles, and a variety of unmanned aerial vehicles(UAVs).The Fajr-3 (MIRV) is currently Iran's most advanced ballistic missile,Sony VAIO VGN-AR83S Battery

it is a liquid fuel missile with an undisclosed range which was developed and produced domestically.

Economy

The economy of Iran is the eighteenth largest economy in the world by purchasing power parity (PPP). Sony VAIO VGN-AR83US Battery

Iran's economy is a mixture of central planning, state ownershipof oil and other large enterprises, village agriculture, and small-scale private trading and service ventures. Its economic infrastructure has been improving steadily over the past two decades but continues to be affected by inflation and unemployment.Sony VAIO VGN-AR84S Battery

In the early 21st century the service sector contributed the largest percentage of the GDP, followed by industry (mining and manufacturing) and agriculture. In 2006, about 45% of the government's budget came from oil and natural gas revenues, and 31% came from taxes and fees.Sony VAIO VGN-AR84US Battery

Government spending contributed to an average annual inflation rate of 14% in the period 2000–2004. As at 2007, Iran had earned $70 billion in foreign exchange reserves mostly (80%) from crude oil exports. In 2009 GDP was $336 billion ($876 billion at PPP), or $12,900 at PPP per capita.Sony VAIO VGN-AR85S Battery

In 2008, Iran's official annual growth rate was 6%.  Because of these figures and the country’s diversified but small industrial base, the United Nations classifies Iran's economy as semi-developed (1998).

Close to 1.8% of national employment is generated in the tourism sector which is slated to increase to 10% in the next five years.Sony VAIO VGN-AR85US Battery

About 1,659,000 foreign tourists visited Iran in 2004; most came from Asian countries, including the republics ofCentral Asia, while a small share came from the countries of the European Union and North America. Iran currently ranks 89th in tourist income, but is rated among the "10 most touristic countries" in the world in terms of its history.Sony VAIO VGN-AR870EA Battery

Weak advertising, unstable regional conditions, a poor public image in some parts of the world, and absence of efficient planning schemes in the tourism sector have all hindered the growth of tourism.

The administration continues to follow the market reform plans of the previous one and indicated that it will diversify Iran's oil-reliant economy. Sony VAIO VGN-AR890U Battery

Iran has also developed a biotechnology, nanotechnology, and pharmaceuticals industry. The strong oil market since 1996 helped ease financial pressures on Iran and allowed for Tehran's timely debt service payments.

Iranian budget deficits have been a chronic problem, mostly due to large-scale state subsidies, that include foodstuffs and especially gasoline, totaling more than $84 billion in 2008 for the energy sector alone.Sony VAIO VGN-AR93S Battery

In 2010, the economic reform plan was approved by parliament to cut subsidies gradually and replace them with targeted social assistance. The objective is to move towards free market prices in a 5-year period and increase productivity and social justice.Sony VAIO VGN-AR93US Battery

Over the past 15 years, the authorities have placed an emphasis on the local production of domestic-consumption oriented goods such as home appliances, cars, agricultural products, pharmaceutical, etc. Today, Iran possesses a good manufacturing industry, despite restrictions imposed by foreign countries. Sony VAIO VGN-AR94S Battery

However, nationalized industries such as the bonyads have often been managed badly, making them ineffective and uncompetitive with years. Currently, the government is trying to privatize these industries, and, despite successes, there are still several problems to be overcome, such as the lagging corruption in the public sector and lack of competitiveness. Sony VAIO VGN-AR94US Battery

Iran ranks 69th out of 139 in Global Competitiveness Report.

Iran has leading manufacture industry in the fields of car-manufacture and transportation, construction materials, home appliances, food and agricultural goods, armaments, pharmaceuticals, information technology, power and petrochemicals in the Middle East.Sony VAIO VGN-AR95S Battery

Iran ranks second in the world in natural gas reserves and third in oil reserves. It is OPEC's 2nd largest oil exporter and it has the potential to become an energy superpower. In 2005, Iran spent $4 billion on fuel imports, because of contraband and inefficient domestic use.Sony VAIO VGN-AR95US Battery

Oil industry output averaged 4 million barrels per day (640,000 m3/d) in 2005, compared with the peak of six million barrels per day reached in 1974. In the early 2000s, industryinfrastructure was increasingly inefficient because of technological lags. Few exploratory wells were drilled in 2005.Sony VAIO VGN-AW110J/H Battery

In 2004, a large share of Natural gas reserves in Iran were untapped. The addition of new hydroelectric stations and the streamlining of conventional coal and oil-fired stations increased installed capacity to 33,000 megawatts. Of that amount, about 75% was based on natural gas, 18% on oil, and 7% on hydroelectric power. Sony VAIO VGN-AW11M/H Battery

In 2004, Iran opened its first wind-powered and geothermal plants, and the first solar thermal plant is to come online in 2009.

Demographic trends and intensified industrialization have caused electric power demand to grow by 8% per year. Sony VAIO VGN-AW11S/B Battery

The government’s goal of 53,000 megawatts of installed capacity by 2010 is to be reached by bringing on line new gas-fired plants and by adding hydroelectric, and nuclear power generating capacity.Iran’s first nuclear power plant at Bushehr is set to go online by 2010.Sony VAIO VGN-AW11XU/Q Battery

Science and technology

Ancient Iranians built Qanats and Yakhchal to provide and keep water. The first windmill appeared in Iran in the 9th century. Iranians contributed significantly to the current understanding of astronomy, natural science, medicine, mathematics, and philosophy. Sony VAIO VGN-AW11Z/B Battery

Khwarizmi is widely hailed as the father of algebra. Ethanol (alcohol) was first identified by Persian alchemists such as Muhammad ibn Zakar?ya R?zi. Throughout the Middle Ages, the natural philosophy and mathematics of the Ancient Greeks and Persians were furthered and preserved within Persia. Sony VAIO VGN-AW120J/H Battery

The Academy of Gundishapur was a renowned centre of learning in the city of Gundeshapur during late antiquity and was the most important medical centre of the ancient world during the 6th and 7th centuries.During this period, Persia became a centre for the manufacture of scientific instruments, retaining its reputation for quality well into the 19th century.Sony VAIO VGN-AW150Y/H Battery

Iran strives to revive the golden age of Persian science. The country has increased its publication output nearly tenfold from 1996 through 2004, and has been ranked first in terms of output growth rate followed by China.Despite the limitations in funds, facilities, and international collaborations,Sony VAIO VGN-AW160J/Q Battery

Iranian scientists remain highly productive in several experimental fields, such as pharmacology, pharmaceutical chemistry, organic chemistry, and polymer chemistry. Iranian scientists are also helping construct the Compact Muon Solenoid, a detector for CERN's Large Hadron Collider. Sony VAIO VGN-AW170Y/Q Battery

In 2009, a SUSE Linux-based HPC system made by the Aerospace Research Institute of Iran (ARI) was launched with 32 cores and now runs 96 cores. Its performance was pegged at 192 GFLOPS.

In the biomedical sciences, Iran's Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics is a UNESCO chair in biology.Sony VAIO VGN-AW180Y/Q Battery

In late 2006, Iranian scientists successfully cloned a sheep by somatic cell nuclear transfer, at the Rouyan research centre in Tehran. According to a study by David Morrison and Ali Khademhosseini (Harvard-MIT and Cambridge), stem cell research in Iran is amongst the top 10 in the world.Iran ranks 15th in the world in nanotechnologies.Sony VAIO VGN-AW190JAH Battery

The Iranian nuclear program was launched in the 1950s. Iran is the 7th country in production of uranium hexafluoride. Iran now controls the entire cycle for producing nuclear fuel. Iran's current facilities includes several research reactors, a uranium mine, an almost complete commercial nuclear reactor, and uranium processing facilities that include a uranium enrichment plant.Sony VAIO VGN-AW190NAB Battery

The Iranian Space Agency launched its first reconnaissance satellite named Sina-1 in 2006, and a space rocket in 2007,  which aimed at improving science and research for university students. Iran placed its domestically built satellite, Omid into orbit on the 30th anniversary of the Iranian Revolution, Sony VAIO VGN-AW190NBB Battery

on 2 February 2009,through Safir rocket, becoming the ninth country in the world capable of both producing a satellite and sending it into space from a domestically madelauncher.

Iranian scientists outside Iran have also made some major contributions to science.Sony VAIO VGN-AW190NCB Battery

In 1960, Ali Javan co-invented the first gas laser and fuzzy set theory was introduced by Lotfi Zadeh. Iranian cardiologist, Tofy Mussivand invented and developed the first artificial cardiac pump, the precursor of the artificial heart. Furthering research and treatment of diabetes, HbA1c was discovered by Samuel Rahbar. Sony VAIO VGN-AW190YAB Battery

Iranian physics is especially strong in string theory, with many papers being published in Iran. Iranian-American string theorist Cumrun Vafa proposed the Vafa-Witten theorem together with Edward Witten.

Demographics

Iran is a diverse country consisting of people of many religions and ethnic backgrounds cemented by the Persian culture.Sony VAIO VGN-AW190YBB Battery

The majority of the population speaks the Persian language, which is also the official language of the country, as well as other Iranian languages or dialects.Turkic languages and dialects, most importantly Azeri language, are spoken in different areas in Iran. Additionally, Arabic is spoken in the southwestern parts of the country.Sony VAIO VGN-AW190YCB Battery

The exact ethnic breakdown of Iran is unknown as there are no official numbers, however some organizations have made estimates. The World Factbook released the estimate: Persians (51%), Azerbaijanis (24%), Gilaki and Mazandarani (8%), Kurds (7%), Arabs (3%), Baluchi (2%),Lurs (2%), Turkmens (2%), Laks, Qashqai,Sony VAIO VGN-AW190YDB Battery

Armenians, Persian Jews, Georgians, Assyrians, Circassians, Tats, Mandaeans, Gypsies, Brahuis,Hazara, Kazakhs and others (1%). However according to them Persian and its dialects are spoken as first language by 58% while Azeri is spoken by 26%, Kurdish by 9%, Luri by 3%, Balochi by 1%, Arabic by 1% and that some 2% have other languages as first language.Sony VAIO VGN-AW220J/B Battery

The Library of Congress estimates are as following: Persians (65%), Azerbaijanis (16%), Kurds (7%), Lurs (6%), Arabs (2%), Baluchi (2%), Turkmens (1%), Turkic tribal groups such as the Qashqai (1%), and non-Iranian, non-Turkic groups such as Armenians, Assyrians, and Georgians (less than 1%). Sony VAIO VGN-AW230J/H Battery

According to them Persian is spoken as a mother tongue by at least 65% of the population and as a second language by a large proportion of the remaining 35%.

Iran's population increased dramatically during the latter half of the 20th century, reaching about 75 million by 2009.Sony VAIO VGN-AW235J/B Battery

According to the 1956 census the population of Iran was about 19 million. In recent years, however, Iran's birth rate has dropped significantly. Studies project that Iran's rate of population growth will continue to slow until it stabilizes above 105 million by 2050.Sony VAIO VGN-AW290JFQ Battery

More than two-thirds of the population is under the age of 30, and the literacy rate is 83%. Women today compose more than half of the incoming classes for universities around the country and increasingly continue to play pivotal roles in society.Sony VAIO VGN-AW41JF Battery

Iran hosts one of the largest refugee populations in the world, with more than one million refugees, mostly from Afghanistan and Iraq. Since 2006, Iranian officials have been working with the UNHCR and Afghan officials for their repatriation.Sony VAIO VGN-AW41JF/H Battery

According to estimates, about five million Iranian citizens have emigrated to other countries, mostly since the Iranian Revolution in 1979.

According to the Iranian Constitution, the government is required to provide every citizen of the country with access to social security that covers retirement,unemployment,Sony VAIO VGN-AW41MF Battery

old age, disability, accidents, calamities, health and medical treatment and care services. This is covered by public revenues and income derived from public contributions. The World Health Organization in on health systems ranked Iran's performance on health level 58th, and its overall health system performance 93rd among the world's nations in 2000.Sony VAIO VGN-AW41MF/H Battery

Religion

Religion in Iran is dominated by the Twelver Shia branch of Islam, which is the official state religion and to which about 90% to 95% of Iranians belong. About 4% to 8% of Iranians belong to the Sunni branch of Islam, mainly Kurds and Iran's Balochi Sunni.Sony VAIO VGN-AW41XH Battery

The remaining 2% are non-Muslim religious minorities, including Bahá'ís, Mandeans, Hindus, Yezidis, Yarsanis, Zoroastrians, Jews, and Christians.

The latter three minority religions are officially recognized and protected, and have reserved seats in the Majlis (Parliament).Sony VAIO VGN-AW41XH/Q Battery

However the Bahá'í Faith, Iran's largest religious minority,is not officially recognized, and has been persecuted during its existence in Iran. Since the 1979 revolution thepersecution of Bahá'ís has increased with executions, the denial of civil rights and liberties, and the denial of access to higher education and employment.Sony VAIO VGN-AW41ZF Battery,Sony VAIO VGN-AW41ZF/B Battery,Sony VAIO VGN-AW50DB/H Battery,Sony VAIO VGN-AW51JGB Battery,Sony VAIO VGN-AW52JGB Battery,Sony VAIO VGN-AW53FB Battery,Sony VAIO VGN-AW70B/Q Battery,Sony VAIO VGN-AW71JB Battery,Sony VAIO VGN-AW72JB Battery,Sony VAIO VGN-AW73FB Battery

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