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Persia (English)Timeline: The Fires of God
"Persia and the House of Sassan"
"Glory to Persia"
Persia (in green) and neighbouring countries as of 2015
|Regional Languages||Greek, Arabic, Syriac, Aramaic, Turkmen, Hindustani, Urdu, Pashto, Hebrew|
|Demonym||Persian, Sasanian, Sassanid|
|Government||Parliamentary democracy with elements of an absolute monarchy|
|-||Prime Minister||Peroz Mihran|
|-||Upper house||Chamber of the Satraps|
|-||Lower house||Chamber of the Commoners|
|-||Battle of Hormozdgān||April 28 224|
|-||Siege of Constantinople (1453)||1453|
|-||Creation of a national constitution||1906|
Persia, also referred to as the Persian Empire or the Sassanid Empire or Sasanian Empire after the ruling family, is a country located in western Asia. It is bordered to the northwest by Russia; with Kazakhstan to the north; to the northeast by China; to the east by India; to the south by the Saudi Caliphate the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman; and to the west by Anatolia and Mesopotamia. Persia has long been of geo-strategic importance because of its central location in Eurasia and Western Asia, and its proximity to the Strait of Hormuz.
Persia is home to one of the world's oldest civilizations, beginning with the formation of the Proto-Elamite and Elamite kingdom in 3200–2800 BC. The Medes unified the area 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 founded by Cyrus the great in 550 BC, which at its greatest extent comprised major portions of the ancient world, stretching from parts of the Balkans (Thrace, Paeonia and 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 of Alexander the Great. The Parthian Empire emerged from the ashes and was succeeded by the Sassanid Dynasty in 224 AD, under which Persia again became one of the leading powers in the world.
Rashidun Muslims invaded Persia in 633 AD, but were repulsed by a short-lived alliance of the Sassanid Empire and the Romans. Persia thereafter played a vital role in the subsequent Eastern Golden Age, producing many influential scientists, scholars, artists, and thinkers. Beginning in 1096, and continuing until 1291, The Sassanid Empire fought almost continuous wars against Catholic Crusaders, with both sides experiencing varying levels of success. Ultimately, the Persians were victorious, and thereafter a renewed age of peace began. Renewed hostilities with the Roman Empire continued from the Middle Ages until 1453, when the Roman capital of Constantinople fell to the Persians. The crowning in 1501 of Shahanshah Shapur VIII, who promoted a revitalisation of Zoroastrianism as the official religion, marked one of the most important turning points in Persian history. Starting in 1736 under Peroz IV, Persia reached its greatest territorial extent, its lands stretching from the borders of China and India, through the Middle East, into Greece and eastern Europe and across the Mediterranean coast of Africa and into southern Spain. This was, arguably, the most powerful empire in the world at the time. In the course of the 19th century, Persia irrevocably lost swaths of its territories in the western regions in Spain and North Africa to the fledgling nation of Spain. The Persian Constitutional Revolution of 1906 established the nation's first parliament, which operated within the constraints of an absolute monarchy, a state of affairs that persists to this day.
From the beginning of the nineteenth century, Persia began to lose territory in eastern Europe, and by 1900 had been pushed back to the region around the capital city of Constantinople. During the First World War, Persia was a key member of the Central Powers, and faced fierce fighting against the British, the Russians and the Slavic nations of eastern Europe. Persia's eventual defeat, and the signing of the Treaty of Constantinople, saw her lose a great deal of territory in Africa and the Middle East, pushing the borders back toward the Persian heartland. During the Second World War, Persia remained nominally neutral, though supported the Allies by permitting the use of Persian land, sea and air territory for the movement of personnel, equipment and supplies. In 1979, the Persian Civil War saw the country torn apart, but eventually the Loyalists achieved victory, defeating the Islamists under the command of Ruhollah Khomeini. Persia has recovered swiftly since the war, and to this day remains a large country and enjoys a great deal of influence in international politics.
Tehran is the capital and largest city, serving as the cultural, commercial and industrial centre of the nation. Persia is considered a major power, exerting considerable influence in international energy security and the world economy through its large reserves of fossil fuels, which include the largest natural gas supply in the world and the fourth-largest proven oil reserves.
Persia is a founding member of the UN. Its political system, based on merging of ancient tradition and the constitution of 1906, combines elements of a parliamentary democracy with a monarchy governed by the country's nobility, wherein the Shahanshah wields ultimate power but by convention rarely exercises it. A multicultural nation comprising numerous ethnic and linguistic groups, most inhabitants are officially Zoroastrian. The Persian Drachm is the currency, and Persian is the official language.