Iran-US tensions, Ghosn’s comeback, Australia wildfires, Royal fallout

Ten days into 2020 and it feels like we have already been to the brink of war and back. The reported forewarning of the strike, the tweet by Iran’s foreign minister essentially saying that was it on Wednesday. Since, there have been more ominous noises from Tehran. Then there is that plane crash that happened hours after the missile strike. 176 killed after takeoff from Tehran of a Ukraine International Airlines flight. On social media, many Iranians expressed anger that the plane was allowed to take off. An amateur video purports to show the moment the Boeing 737 was hit.

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In This Story: Iran

Iran, also called Persia, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia. Its central location in Eurasia and proximity to the Strait of Hormuz give it significant geostrategic importance. Tehran is the capital and largest city.

Iran is home to one of the world’s oldest civilizations, beginning with the formation of the Elamite kingdoms in the fourth millennium BC. The Iranian Revolution established the current Islamic Republic in 1979.

Iran’s political system combines elements of a presidential democracy and an Islamic theocracy. Iran is a founding member of the UN, ECO, OIC, and OPEC. It is a major regional and middle power and has large reserves of fossil fuels — including the world’s largest natural gas supply and the third largest proven oil reserves.

The country’s rich cultural legacy is reflected in part by its 22 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Historically a multi-ethnic country, Iran remains a pluralistic society comprising numerous ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups, the largest being Persians, Azeris, Kurds, Mazandaranis and Lurs.

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