Iran Introduction 2001
SOURCE: 2001 CIA WORLD FACTBOOK
Known as Persia until 1935, Iran became an Islamic republic in 1979 after the ruling shah was forced into exile. Conservative clerical forces subsequently crushed westernizing liberal elements. Militant Iranian students seized the US Embassy in Tehran on 4 November 1979 and held it until 20 January 1981. During 1980-88, Iran fought a bloody, indecisive war with Iraq over disputed territory. The key current issue is how rapidly the country should open up to the modernizing influences of the outside world.
NOTE: The information regarding Iran on this page is re-published from the 2001 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Iran Introduction 2001 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Iran Introduction 2001 should be addressed to the CIA.