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Iran

Iran, the second-largest country in the Middle East, is a multi-ethnic Islamic theocracy with the ultimate decision maker being the country's prime religious authority, its Supreme Leader. It infuses elements of democracy, such as an elected president. With one of the longest and storied histories of civilization, the current Islamic Republic of Iran was established by Ruhollah Khomeini in 1979 following the Islamic Revolution. Kohmeini became Iran's first Supreme Leader. 


Iran is considered authoritarian in its suppression of rights for women and children and the violent squandering of opposing political protests.


Strategically located between the water bodies of the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Oman and the Caspian sea, it is bordered by key middle-eastern players, such as Turkey, Afghanistan and Iraq. 


Iran holds the world's second-largest natural gas supply as well as a massive oil reserve, a key element often discussed in its role in international relations and political leverage.  


Before 1979, Iran maintained friendly relations with Israel via pro-Western leader Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. However, after the Islamic Revolution, Iran severed all ties with Israel and by the 1990s relations turned hostile.


Iran has escalated its nuclear technology development over the years while also funding and supporting Islamic-extremist proxy groups much closer to Israel, such as Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and Hezbollah. 

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 THE ANNOUNCEMENT of Ebrahim Raisi’s death is not significant at all. From the perspective of the Iranian people, his presence or absence makes no difference, the writer asserts.

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 U.S. national security spokesperson John Kirby speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 22, 2024.

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 A helicopter carrying Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi takes off, near the Iran-Azerbaijan border, May 19, 2024. The helicopter with Raisi on board later crashed.

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 Israeli airstrike on the Iranian consulate in the Syrian capital, Damascus.

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 Author Salman Rushdie reacts to an audience member's medical emergency during his speech, as he receives the Peace Prize of the German book trade (Friedenspreis des Deutschen Buchhandels) during a ceremony at the Church of St. Paul in Frankfurt, Germany, October 22, 2023.

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 People come to Iranian embassy to pay tribute to President Raisi and other helicopter crash victims, in Moscow

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 A view of the wreckage of Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi's helicopter at the crash site on a mountain in Varzaghan, northwestern Iran, May 20, 2024

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 Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi speaks during the 43rd anniversary of the US expulsion from Iran, in Tehran, Iran November 4, 2022.

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 Iranian Jews prepare for prayer at the Abrishami synagogue at Palestine street in Tehran December 24, 2015.

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 Iran's Vice President Mohammad Mokhber at Mehrabad Airport in Tehran, Iran May 28, 2023.

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 Rescue team works following a crash of a helicopter carrying Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi, in Varzaqan, May 20, 2024

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 A view of the wreckage of Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi's helicopter at the crash site on a mountain in Varzaghan, northwestern Iran, May 20, 2024

Iran’s Raisi joins long list of political leaders involved in mysterious crashes