Home to one of the world's oldest civilizations, Iran is seen as a force for stability by some and as a threat by others in a volatile region. Either way, it's one of west Asia's two major democracies — archrival Israel is the other — and a regional power. The majority Shia nation is a middle-income country, boasts one the world's largest oil and gas reserves, and is home to ancient archaeological wonders.
Need to Know
More from Iran
America’s tightening sanctions are damaging Iran’s economy, but that’s unlikely to change its behavior, experts say.
Trump has given up allied leverage over Iran, risking a collision course with chaos in the region.
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Despite being labeled “terrorists,” this elite force is deepening roots in Iranian society through humanitarian work.
- Fast Forward
The elite force wants to exploit a vacuum in the energy sector created by U.S. sanctions.
Before the modern wave of populism, someone else was zooming to power using similar tactics.
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Two brothers are bringing their passion for traditional baking to a bread-loving nation.
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