Sitting at the heart of the Asian continent is the Islamic Republic of Iran, which boasts of a rich and influential culture that shaped the rest of the Middle East and Central Asia.

Formerly known as Persia until it was renamed in 1935, Iran lies between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, dividing the Middle East and Central Asia, and is surrounded by other Western Asian countries such as Azerbaijan, Armenia, Turkmenistan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkey, and Iraq.

The country’s geographically strategic location made it possible for Iranian culture to spread and easily impact the immediate nations along its region.

The diffusion of the Persian culture allowed for the formation of a diverse nation, with citizens coming from several unique ethnicities. Native Persians are estimated to dominate the Iranian population, making up more than 50%, while the rest of the population is consisted of other ethnic groups such as Azerbaijanis, Gilaki, Mazandarani, Kurds, Arabs, Baluchi, Lurs, and Turkmens.

A large portion of the Iranian populace speaks its mother tongue, the Persian language, while most non-central areas speak other Iranian languages and dialects, as well as some foreign languages such as Arabic, Azeri, Kurdish, Luri, and Balochi.

Most of the Iranians are under the nation’s religious conviction, the Twelver Shia branch of Islam. The remaining segment belongs to either the Sunni branch of Islam or non-Muslim minority faiths.

Iran, the 18th largest country in the world in terms of territorial area, is considered to be one of Asia’s superpowers for being one of the major natural gas and oil nests in the world, significantly impacting the thriving global energy industry. Iran’s prosperous economy is centered in its capital city, Tehran, which also serves as the core of its political, cultural, commercial, and industrial developments.

Apart from its prominent culture, Iran also features a lush wildlife with a wide range of animal varieties – both common and bizarre species. Iran’s exceptional landscape provides good venues for an array of mountain and beach activities.

As a final note, if you’re bringing electrical gadgets, you’ll probably need an adaptor for 110-to-220 round two-pin sockets. Electricity runs on 220V.