Iran is an Islamic republic on the Persian Gulf with historical sites dating to the Persian Empire. Extensive marble ruins mark Persepolis, the empire’s capital founded by Darius I in the 6th century B.C. The modern capital, Tehran, is home to opulent Golestan Palace, seat of the Qajar Dynasty (1794–1925), plus modern landmarks such as the 435m-high Milad Tower.
Population: 77.45 million (2013) World Bank
President: Hassan Rouhani
Currency: Iranian rial
Tehran is the capital of Iran and Tehran Province. With a population of around 8.3 million and surpassing 14 million in the wider metropolitan area, Tehran is Iran's In the 20th and 21st centuries, Tehran has been the subject of mass migration of people from all around Iran. The city is home to many historic mosques, churches, synagogues and Zoroastrian fire temples. However, modern structures, notably Azadi (Freedom) Tower and the Milad Tower, have come to symbolize the city. Tehran is ranked 29th in the world by the population of its metropolitan area. Throughout Iran's history, the capital has been moved many times, and Tehran is the 32nd national capital of Iran although it has been Iran's capital for about 220 years. Although a variety of unofficial languages are spoken, roughly 99T of the population understand and speak Persian. The majority of people in Tehran identify themselves as Persians. In pre-Islamic and early Islamic times, Tehran was an unimportant village and part of the area of present-day Tehran was occupied by Rey (which in the Avesta occurs in the form of Ragha), now a part of the city of Tehran, which took over its role after the destruction of Rey by the Mongols in the early 13th century.