Iran is a sovereign state in Western Asia. It is the world’s 18th-most-populous country, the second-largest country in the Middle East and the 17th-largest in the world.
Iran is bordered to the northwest by Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan, to the north by the Caspian Sea, to the northeast by Turkmenistan, to the east by Afghanistan and Pakistan, to the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, and to the west by Turkey and Iraq.
The country’s central location in Eurasia and Western Asia, and its proximity to the Strait of Hormuz, give it geostrategic importance. Tehran is the country’s capital and largest city, as well as its leading economic and cultural center.
Persia is former name of Iran. In 1935, Reza Shah requested the international community to refer to the country by its native name, Iran. As The New York Times explained at the time, “At the suggestion of the Persian Legation in Berlin, the Tehran government, on the Persian New Year, Nowruz, March 21, 1935, substituted Iran for Persia as the official name of the country.”
Just before Iran, here are rare medium format photos from Wolfgang Wiggers taken by an Austrian photographer who traveled to Iran from early 1935 to 1937.
|Playing the ney, 1935|
|The watering hole, 1935|
|Bedouins of Iran, 1935|