Iran (/ɪˈrɑːn/ Listen, also /ɪˈræn/; Persian: ایران Irān [ʔiːˈɾɒːn] Listen), also known as Persia (/ˈpɜːrʒə/), officially the Islamic Republic of Iran (جمهوری اسلامی ایران Jomhuri-ye Eslāmi-ye Irān [d͡ʒomhuːˌɾiːje eslɒːˌmiːje ʔiːˈɾɒːn]), is a sovereign state in Western Asia. It is bordered to the northwest by Armenia, the de facto Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, and 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. Comprising a land area of 1,648,195 km2 (636,372 sq mi), it is the second-largest country in the Middle East and the 18th-largest in the world. With 82.8 million inhabitants, Iran is the world’s 17th-most-populous country.
Tehran is the city travellers love to hate, with many avoiding a stay here altogether en route to Iran’s more popular tourist destinations. But discovers, the capital’s gorgeous galleries, sociable locals and exhilarating pace give it a beautiful side too.