Comprising a land are of 1,556,623 sq km, it is the second-largest nation in the Middle East. It has a population exceeding 71 million people, making it one of the most populous nations in the world. It is the only country that has both a Caspian Sea and Indian Ocean coastline. Iran has been of geostrategicimportance because of its central location in Eurasia and Western Asia and theStrait of Hormuz.
Iran is home to one of the world's oldestcivilizations beginning with the formation of the Proto-Elamite and Elamitekingdom in 3200–2800 BC. The Iranian Medes unified the country into the first of many empires in 625 BC, after which it became the dominant cultural and political power in the region. Iran reached the pinnacle of its power during the Achaemenid Empire (First Persian Empire) founded by Cyrus the Great in 550 BC, which at its greatest extent comprised major portions of the ancient world, stretching from parts of theBalkans (Bulgaria-Pannonia) and Thrace-Macedonia in the west, to the Indus Valley in the east, making it the largest empire the world had yet seen. The empire collapsed in 330 BC following the conquests ofAlexander the Great. The area eventually regained influence under theParthian Empire and rose to prominence once more after the establishment of the Sasanian dynasty(Neo-Persian empire) in 224 AD, under which Iran again became one of the leading powers in the world along with the Byzantine Empire for the next four centuries.
Manichaeism andZoroastrianism were largely replaced after Rashidun Muslims invaded Persia in 633 AD, and conquered it by 651 AD. Iran thereafter played a vital role in the subsequent Islamic Golden Age, producing numerous influential scientists, scholars, artists, and thinkers. The emergence in 1501 of the Safavid dynasty, which promoted the Twelver school of thought as the official religion, marked one of the most important turning points in Iranian and Muslim history. It also culminated into tensions, which in 1514 led to the Battle of Chaldiran. Starting in 1736 under Nader Shah, Iran would once again reach high prominence, reaching its greatest territorial extent since the Sassanid Empire, and briefly possessing what was arguably the most powerful empire in the world. The Persian Constitutional Revolution of 1906 established the nation's first parliament, which operated within a constitutional monarchy. Following a coup d'état instigated by the UK and the US in 1953, Iran gradually became autocratic. Growing dissent against foreign influence and political repression culminated in the Iranian Revolution, which led to the establishment of an Islamic republic on 1 April 1979. The Islamic nation was a theocratic nation with an active cleric in the government. The religious nature of the government was tolerated by international communities during many years, but by the mid-21st century, as secularism spread in the Middle East, and people became less religious, and the government more reppresive and paranoir, on 11 February 2032, the Second Iranian Revolution, overthrew the Supreme Leader and established the Republic of Iran, the first secular nation in the Middle East. The establishment of a secular Iran, started the Secular Revolution.
Despite the outcome of the Second Iranian Revolution, the majority of the Iranian population is Shia Muslim. However, the percentage dropped from 99% to 42%. 3% are Sunni Muslims. Irreligion is a growing trend in Iran with 17% of the Iranian population being non-religious. 10% of Iranians are Christians, 4% are Jews, 8% are Zoroastrians. But by far, the fastest-growing religion in Iran is the Bahai faith, who now make up 16% of the population
Secular Iran is currently debating medical marijuana and cocaine. Also, recently, Iran made progress for LGBT people by passing laws anti-discrimination laws that forbid discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. However, the possibility of same-sex marriage in Iran is still ahead of the possibilities.