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Iran

Interesting facts

In Persian, the word Iran means “Land of the Aryans.”

In 2012, Iran’s police chief announced that Google is a tool for spying. Additionally, the Iranian government wants to form a “national Internet” that would be under state control.

In Iran, couples that want a marriage license are required to take an hour-long lecture on contraception.

Iran first participated in the Olympics in 1948 and has sent athletes to every Summer Olympic Games since then, except for 1980 and 1984. Iran has also participated in the winter Olympics multiple times since 1956.

Approximately 14.2% of Iranians are obese, making it the 41st most obese country in the world. American Samoa is the largest, with 75% of its population obese. The United States is 6th in the world, with 33.9% of the population obese.

The official name of Iran is the Islamic Republic of Iran. It became an Islamic republic in 1979 when the monarchy was overthrown and religious clerics assumed political power under supreme leader Ayatollah Khomeini.

Iran’s capital and largest city, Tehran, has some of the worst air pollution in the world. An estimated 27 people die a day from air pollution-related diseases.

The current Iranian flag was adopted in 1980 and has three equal horizontal bands of green, white, and red. Green is the color of Islam and represents growth, white symbolizes honesty and peace, and red stands for bravery and martyrdom. Centered in the middle white band is the stylized representation of the word “Allah” and the phrase La ilaha illa Allah (“None is worthy of worship but Allah”) in the shape of a tulip. Along the inner edges of the green and red bands are 22 copies of the phrase Allahu Akbar (“God is great”).

In 1953, the CIA was involved in a covert operation code named Operation Ajax to overthrow the democratically elected Iranian government of Prime Minister Masaddegh. In return, the Shah rewarded the United States with a 40% stake in Iran’s oil industry. When the Iranians learned of the United State’s role, they would distrust the United States for years to come.

In 1979, a group of Islamist students and militants overtook the American Embassy in Tehran. In support of the Iranian revolution, they demanded that the United States hand over Shah Pahlavi, who was dying of cancer and receiving medical treatment in the U.S. After 444 days, just minutes after President Ronald Reagan was sworn into office, the hostages were released.

 

 
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