Iran (the Islamic Republic of Iran) is a country in the Middle East between the Gulf of Oman, the Persian Gulf, and the Caspian Sea, and was historically referred to as Persia until 1935. The population of Iran is 78.4 million (2015 estimate), and its capital is Tehran. Iran’s long history with conflicts has continuously been defined by a contrast between state and society. Modern-day Iran is largely perceived as a belligerent actor whose regime supports violent groups in the region. On their part, Iranians have led mass movements caused by deep divisions between the regime and the population. As a people, despite popular perception, Iranians remain averse to conflict, and the country’s long history shows a largely pacifist and nonconfrontational culture.

The Persian Empire

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