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It is perhaps because of the Iranian concept of the home and garden (and not the city or town it is in) as the defining center of life that Iranians find living in a society with such stringent rules of public behavior somewhat tolerable. Iranian society by and large cares very little about what goes on in the homes and gardens of private citizens, but the Islamic government cares very much how its citizens behave once they venture outside their walls.

Hooman Majd, Born 1957 Iranian-American journalist, author. ‘The Ayatollah Begs to Differ: The Paradox of Modern Iran’


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Hezbollah are Iran’s proxies in the Levant. The deployment of Hezbollah militia to support the discredited Bashar al-Assad could not have happened without Iranian approval. It  appeared that the Hezbollah militia – well armed and well trained - were the deciding factor in the Syrian régime’s victory in the battle to re-take Qusair. Iranian assistance to al-Assad went further, however. Iranian Revolutionary Guards are known to be in Syria, and Iran has for some time been supplying weapons and ammunition. Teams of Iranian internal security operatives and their backup technology are also known to be assisting the beleaguered Syrian government. Much of Iran’s foreign policy is determined by one of the failed presidential candidates, Aki Akbar Velayati (who didn’t even make it to the third spot in the election) the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s long-time special advisor on foreign affairs. Velayati had a relatively high international profile as Iran’s longest serving minister – including the post of Foreign Minister from 1981 to 1997.

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- Timeline

- Political structure

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- Time

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Key Facts

Key Facts:

Key Facts
Official name: Jomhoori e Islami e Iran (Islamic Republic of Iran)
Head of State: Supreme Leader, Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei (from 4 June 1989)
Head of government: President Hassan Rouhani (from 3 August 2013)
Ruling party: Conservatives (coalition of five political parties led by United Front of Conservatives (UFC)) (from 2004; re-elected 2 Mar 2012)
Area: 1,648,195 square km
Population: 77.97 million (2014)*
Capital: Tehran
Official language: Farsi (Persian)
Currency: Rial (IR) 10 rials = 1 toman
Exchange rate: IR29,900.00 per US$ (Sep 2015)
GDP per capita: US$5,183 (2014)*
GDP real growth: 2.97% (2014)*
GDP: US$404.13 billion (2014)*
Unemployment: 11.21% (2014)*
Inflation: 15.55% (2014)
Oil production: 3.61 million bpd (2014)
Natural gas production: 172.60 billion cum (2014)


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