Iran is one of the largest and most important countries in the Middle East. Officially known as the Islamic Republic of Iran, this country is directly descended from large and extremely successful ancient empires such as the Parthians and the Sasanids, making Iran a very historically significant part of the world, with a rich cultural heritage.
Iran has a population of just over 75 million people. The dominant religion in the country is Shia Islam, with other religions such as Christianity and Judaism also being officially recognized and protected by the state. The dominant language is Persian, and people of Persian ancestry also make up the majority of the population.
Iran's economy is mainly based on agriculture and the petroleum industry. Iran is also starting to diversify its economy more, investing in industries such as biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. There is also a thriving tourism industry based on Iran's long history and significant cultural achievements.