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She gives a picture of Amida Buddha to him for company while she attempts to retrieve the missing flute. She admits her perfidy and to her plotting to exact revenge against Hidetora and the Ichimonji clan for having destroyed her family years before.
Enraged, Kurogane kills Kaede. A solemn funeral procession is held for Saburo and Hidetora. The film ends with a distance shot of Tsurumaru, blind and alone, silhouetted, atop the ruins.
Filming started in The film also used horses. No miniatures were used for that segment, and Tatsuya Nakadai had to do the scene where Hidetora flees the castle in one take.
Kurosawa often shot scenes with three cameras simultaneously, each using different lenses and angles. Many long-shots were employed and very few close-ups.
On several occasions Kurosawa used static cameras and suddenly brought the action into frame, rather than using the camera to track the action.
He also used jump cuts to progress certain scenes, changing the pace of the action for filmic effect. He halted filming for one day to mourn before resuming work.
His regular recording engineer Fumio Yanoguchi also died late in production in January Motonari was famous for having three sons, all incredibly loyal and talented.
Kurosawa began imagining what would have happened had they been bad. He wrote the script shortly after filming Dersu Uzala in , and then "let it sleep" for seven years.
Kurosawa once said "Hidetora is me", and there is evidence in the film that Hidetora serves as a stand-in for Kurosawa.
While he had directed over twenty films in the first two decades of his career, he directed just four in these two decades.
After directing Red Beard , Kurosawa discovered that he was considered old-fashioned and did not work again for almost five years.
He also found himself competing against television, which had reduced Japanese film audiences from a high of 1. In he was fired from the 20th Century Fox epic Tora!
A year later, unable to secure any domestic funding and plagued by ill-health, Kurosawa attempted suicide by slashing his wrists.
Though he survived, his misfortune continued to plague him until the late s. Kurosawa was influenced by the William Shakespeare play King Lear and borrowed elements from it.
In both, the warlord foolishly banishes anyone who disagrees with him as a matter of pride—in Lear it is the Earl of Kent and Cordelia; in Ran it is Tango and Saburo.
Both King Lear and Ran end with the death of the entire family, including the lord. There are some crucial differences between the two stories.
King Lear is a play about undeserved suffering, and Lear himself is at worst a fool. Hidetora, by contrast, has been a cruel warrior for most of his life: The role of the Fool has been expanded into a major character Kyoami , and Lady Kaede serves as the equivalent of Goneril, but is given a more complex and important character.
The complex and variant etymology for the word Ran used as the title has been variously translated as "chaos", "rebellion", or "revolt"; or to mean "disturbed" or "confused".
The filming of Ran began in According to Michael Wilmington, Kurosawa told him that much of the film was a metaphor for nuclear warfare and the anxiety of the post- Hiroshima age.
Arquebuses revolutionized samurai warfare. Kurosawa had already dealt with this theme in his previous film Kagemusha , in which the Takeda cavalry is destroyed by the arquebuses of the Oda and Tokugawa clans.
In Ran , the battle of Hachiman Field is an illustration of this new kind of warfare. Kurosawa also illustrates this new warfare with his camera. Instead of focusing on the warring armies, he frequently sets the focal plane beyond the action, so that in the film they appear as abstract entities.
The description of Hidetora in the first script was originally based on Toshiro Mifune. Kurosawa also hired two comedians for lighter moments: Kurosawa hired about 1, extras.
While most of the characters in Ran are portrayed by conventional acting techniques, two performances are reminiscent of Japanese Noh theater.
Noh is a specialized form of Japanese traditional theater requiring highly trained actors and musicians where emotions are primarily conveyed by stylized conventional gestures.
The body language exhibited by the same character is also typical of Noh theater: The character of Lady Kaede is also Noh-influenced.
The Noh treatment emphasizes the ruthless, passionate, and single-minded natures of these two characters. As they began production his desire had changed degrees, now insisting on a powerful Mahleresque orchestral score.
Takemitsu responded with what many describe as his most romantic effort, one that achieved a perfect blending of Oriental and Occidental sensibilities.
Takemitsu has stated that he was significantly influenced by the Japanese karmic concept of ma interpreted as a surplus of energy surrounding an abundant void.
Listening to my music can be compared with walking through a garden and experiencing the changes in light, pattern and texture. Lysy summarized the second project stating: Kurosawa constantly sent Takemitsu notes, which only served to infuriate him, so he frequently visited the set to gain a direct sensual experience.
Fortunately producer Masato Hara intervened, made peace, and Takemitsu returned to the film. Years later Takemitsu would relate: But seeing it now Kurosawa originally had wanted the London Symphony Orchestra to perform the score for Ran , but upon meeting conductor Hiroyuki Iwaki of the Sapporo Symphony Orchestra , he engaged Iwaki and the orchestra to record it.
It was produced by Reynold da Silva and David Stoner. As with King Lear , the central theme of the film is its thematic study of the inheritance of power intergenerationally between a single parent and his three children.
Danby argues by analogy that Lear dramatizes, among other things, the contrasting meanings of " Nature ". The "unnatural", or the word " Ran " translated as chaos or the "disordered", occurs in the thematically recurrent scenes of warfare and nihilism depicted throughout the film.
Lady Kaeda and her husband are the new inheriting generation, members of an age of competition, suspicion, glory, in contrast with the older society which has come down from Hidetora and his times, with its belief in co-operation, reasonable decency, and respect for the whole as greater than the part.
Ran , like King Lear , is thus an allegory. The three themes of chaos, nihilism , and warfare recur throughout the film. With reference to chaos, in many scenes Kurosawa foreshadows it by filming approaching cumulonimbus clouds , which finally break into a raging storm during the castle massacre.
Hidetora is an autocrat whose powerful presence keeps the countryside unified and at peace. His abdication frees up other characters, such as Jiro and Lady Kaede, to pursue their own agendas, which they do with absolute ruthlessness.
The ultimate example of chaos is the absence of gods. Unable to see, he stumbles towards the edge until he almost falls over.
He drops the scroll of the Buddha his sister had given him and just stands there, "a blind man at the edge of a precipice, bereft of his god, in a darkening world".
After two centuries of Arab rule, semi-independent and independent Iranian kingdoms—including the Tahirids , Saffarids , Samanids , and Buyids —began to appear on the fringes of the declining Abbasid Caliphate.
By the Samanid era in the ninth and 10th centuries, the efforts of Iranians to regain their independence had been well solidified.
The blossoming literature , philosophy , mathematics , medicine , astronomy and art of Iran became major elements in the formation of a new age for the Iranian civilization, during a period known as the Islamic Golden Age.
The cultural revival that began in the Abbasid period led to a resurfacing of the Iranian national identity ; thus, the attempts of Arabization never succeeded in Iran.
In , large portions of Iran came briefly under the rule of the Ghaznavids , whose rulers were of mamluk Turkic origin, and longer subsequently under the Seljuk and Khwarezmian empires.
These dynasties had been Persianized , and had adopted Persian models of administration and rulership.
From to , under the Khwarezmian Empire, Iran suffered a devastating invasion by the Mongol army of Genghis Khan. According to Steven R.
Ward, " Mongol violence and depredations killed up to three-fourths of the population of the Iranian Plateau, possibly 10 to 15 million people.
In , yet another conqueror, Timur , followed the example of Hulagu, establishing the Timurid Empire which lasted for another years. In , Timur ordered the complete massacre of Isfahan , reportedly killing 70, citizens.
As a result, thereof, modern-day Iran is the only official Shia nation of the world, with it holding an absolute majority in Iran and the Republic of Azerbaijan , having there the first and the second highest number of Shia inhabitants by population percentage in the world.
The Safavid era peaked in the reign of Abbas I — ,   surpassing their Turkish archrivals in strength, and making Iran a leading science and art hub in western Eurasia.
The Safavid era saw the start of mass integration from Caucasian populations into new layers of the society of Iran, as well as mass resettlement of them within the heartlands of Iran, playing a pivotal role in the history of Iran for centuries onwards.
Following a gradual decline in the late s and the early s, which was caused by internal conflicts, the continuous wars with the Ottomans, and the foreign interference most notably the Russian interference , the Safavid rule was ended by the Pashtun rebels who besieged Isfahan and defeated Sultan Husayn in In , Nader Shah , a chieftain and military genius from Khorasan , successfully drove out and conquered the Pashtun invaders.
He subsequently took back the annexed Caucasian territories which were divided among the Ottoman and Russian authorities by the ongoing chaos in Iran.
During the reign of Nader Shah, Iran reached its greatest extent since the Sasanian Empire, reestablishing the Iranian hegemony all over the Caucasus , as well as other major parts of the west and central Asia , and briefly possessing what was arguably the most powerful empire at the time.
Nader Shah invaded India and sacked far off Delhi by the late s. His territorial expansion, as well as his military successes, went into a decline following the final campaigns in the Northern Caucasus against then revolting Lezgins.
The assassination of Nader Shah sparked a brief period of civil war and turmoil, after which Karim Khan of the Zand dynasty came to power in , bringing a period of relative peace and prosperity.
Compared to its preceding dynasties, the geopolitical reach of the Zand dynasty was limited. Many of the Iranian territories in the Caucasus gained de facto autonomy, and were locally ruled through various Caucasian khanates.
However, despite the self-ruling, they all remained subjects and vassals to the Zand king. In , following the disobedience of the Georgian subjects and their alliance with the Russians , the Qajars captured Tbilisi by the Battle of Krtsanisi , and drove the Russians out of the entire Caucasus, reestablishing the Iranian suzerainty over the region.
The Russo-Iranian wars of — and — resulted in large irrevocable territorial losses for Iran in the Caucasus, comprising all of Transcaucasia and Dagestan , which made part of the very concept of Iran for centuries,  and thus substantial gains for the neighboring Russian Empire.
As a result of the 19th-century Russo-Iranian wars, the Russians took over the Caucasus, and Iran irrevocably lost control over its integral territories in the region comprising modern-day Dagestan, Georgia , Armenia , and Republic of Azerbaijan , which got confirmed per the treaties of Gulistan and Turkmenchay.
Between and , a series of protests took place in response to the sale of concessions to foreigners by Qajar monarchs Naser-ed-Din and Mozaffar-ed-Din , and led to the Constitutional Revolution in The first Iranian constitution and the first national parliament of Iran were founded in , through the ongoing revolution.
The struggle related to the constitutional movement was followed by the Triumph of Tehran in , when Mohammad Ali Shah was defeated and forced to abdicate.
On the pretext of restoring order, the Russians occupied northern Iran in and maintained a military presence in the region for years to come.
During World War I , the British occupied much of the territory of western Iran, and fully withdrew in Meanwhile, a famine in northern Iran killed between eight and 10 million people.
In the course of the Assyrian Genocide of — and the Armenian Genocide of —, a large number of Iranian Assyrians and Armenians were subjected to mass murders committed by the Ottoman troops that were crossing the northwestern border, notably in and around Khoy , Maku , Salmas , and Urmia.
Apart from the rule of Agha Mohammad Khan, the Qajar rule is characterized as a century of misrule. Eventually, he was declared the new monarch in —thence known as Reza Shah —establishing the Pahlavi dynasty.
This had a major impact on Iran, which had declared neutrality in the conflicts. Roosevelt , and Winston Churchill —issued the Tehran Declaration to guarantee the post-war independence and boundaries of Iran.
Receiving a promise of oil concessions, the Soviets withdrew from Iran proper in May The two puppet states were soon overthrown following the Iran crisis of , and the oil concessions were revoked.
In , Mohammad Mosaddegh was appointed as the Prime Minister. After the coup, the Shah became increasingly autocratic and sultanistic , and Iran entered a phase of decades-long controversial close relations with the United States and some other foreign governments.
Khomeini publicly denounced the government, and was arrested and imprisoned for 18 months. After his release in , he refused to apologize, and was eventually sent into exile.
Due to the spike in oil prices , the economy of Iran was flooded with foreign currency, which caused inflation. By , the economy of Iran was experiencing double digit inflation, and despite the many large projects to modernize the country, corruption was rampant and caused large amounts of waste.
By and , an economic recession led to increased unemployment, especially among millions of youth who had migrated to the cities of Iran looking for construction jobs during the boom years of the early s.
The Revolution , later known as the Islamic Revolution ,    began in January with the first major demonstrations against the Shah. The immediate nationwide uprisings against the new government began with the Kurdish rebellion and the Khuzestan uprisings , along with the uprisings in Sistan and Baluchestan and other areas.
Over the next several years, these uprisings were subdued in a violent manner by the new Islamic government. The new government began purging itself of the non-Islamist political opposition , as well as of those Islamists who were not considered radical enough.
Although both nationalists and Marxists had initially joined with Islamists to overthrow the Shah, tens of thousands were executed by the new regime afterwards.
On 4 November , a group of Muslim students seized the United States Embassy and took the embassy with 52 personnel and citizens hostage ,  after the United States refused to return Mohammad Reza Pahlavi to Iran to face trial in the court of the new regime and all but certain execution.
Attempts by the Jimmy Carter administration to negotiate for the release of the hostages , and a failed rescue attempt , helped force Carter out of office and brought Ronald Reagan to power.
The Cultural Revolution began in , with an initial closure of universities for three years, in order to perform an inspection and clean up in the cultural policy of the education and training system.
Although the forces of Saddam Hussein made several early advances, by mid , the Iranian forces successfully managed to drive the Iraqi army back into Iraq.
In July , with Iraq thrown on the defensive, the regime of Iran took the decision to invade Iraq and conducted countless offensives in a bid to conquer Iraqi territory and capture cities, such as Basra.
The war continued until when the Iraqi army defeated the Iranian forces inside Iraq and pushed the remaining Iranian troops back across the border.
Subsequently, Khomeini accepted a truce mediated by the United Nations. Following the Iran—Iraq War, in , Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and his administration concentrated on a pragmatic pro-business policy of rebuilding and strengthening the economy without making any dramatic break with the ideology of the revolution.
In , Rafsanjani was succeeded by moderate reformist Mohammad Khatami , whose government attempted, unsuccessfully, to make the country more free and democratic.
The presidential election brought conservative populist candidate, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad , to power. Hassan Rouhani was elected as the president on 15 June , defeating Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf and four other candidates.
Iran consists of the Iranian Plateau , with the exception of the coasts of the Caspian Sea and Khuzestan. The northern part of Iran is covered by the lush lowland Caspian Hyrcanian mixed forests , located near the southern shores of the Caspian Sea.
The only large plains are found along the coast of the Caspian Sea and at the northern end of the Persian Gulf, where the country borders the mouth of the Arvand river.
Smaller, discontinuous plains are found along the remaining coast of the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz , and the Gulf of Oman. Caspian forests in Maklavan , Gilan.
Shirz Canyon , Lurestan. Lut Desert , Sistan. Hormuz Island , Persian Gulf. Gary Lewis, the United Nations Resident Coordinator for Iran, has said that "Water scarcity poses the most severe human security challenge in Iran today".
To the west, settlements in the Zagros basin experience lower temperatures, severe winters with below zero average daily temperatures and heavy snowfall.
The wildlife of Iran is composed of several animal species, including bears , the Eurasian lynx , foxes , gazelles , gray wolves , jackals , panthers , and wild pigs.
Eagles , falcons , partridges , pheasants , and storks are also native to the wildlife of Iran. One of the most famous members of the Iranian wildlife is the critically endangered Asiatic cheetah , also known as the Iranian cheetah , whose numbers were greatly reduced after the Revolution.
The Iranian Parliament has been showing disregard for wildlife by passing laws and regulations such as the act that lets the Ministry of Industries and Mines exploit mines without the involvement of the Department of Environment , and by approving large national development projects without demanding comprehensive study of their impact on wildlife habitats.
The country has one of the highest urban growth rates in the world. Tehran, with a population of around 8. About 15 to 20 million pilgrims visit the shrine every year.
Isfahan has a population of around 2. It is the capital of the province of Isfahan , and was also the third capital of the Safavid Empire.
It is home to a wide variety of historical sites, including the famous Shah Square , Siosepol , and the churches at the Armenian district of New Julfa.
The fourth most populous city of Iran, Karaj , has a population of around 1. It is a major industrial city in Iran, with large factories producing sugar, textiles, wire, and alcohol.
With a population of around 1. It was the first capital of the Safavid Empire, and is now the capital of the province of East Azerbaijan.
Shiraz , with a population of around 1. It is the capital of the province of Fars , and was also the capital of Iran under the reign of the Zand dynasty.
It is located near the ruins of Persepolis and Pasargadae , two of the four capitals of the Achaemenid Empire. The political system of the Islamic Republic is based on the Constitution.
The regime in Iran is undemocratic,   has frequently persecuted and arrested critics of the government and its Supreme Leader, and severely restricts the participation of candidates in popular elections as well as other forms of political activity.
The Leader of the Revolution "Supreme Leader" is responsible for delineation and supervision of the policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Through this process, known as Tanfiz validation , the Leader agrees to the outcome of the presidential election.
The Supreme Leader is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, controls the military intelligence and security operations, and has sole power to declare war or peace.
The Assembly of Experts elects and dismisses to date, never did the Supreme Leader on the basis of qualifications and popular esteem.
Another instance is when Khamenei indirectly called Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani a traitor for a statement he made, resulting Rafsanjani to retract it.
Presidential candidates and parliamentary candidates must be approved by the Guardian Council all members of which are directly or indirectly elected by the Leader or the Leader before running, in order to ensure their allegiance to the Supreme Leader.
The Leader can also revert the decisions of the Guardian Council. After the Supreme Leader, the Constitution defines the President of Iran as the highest state authority.
The Leader also has the power to dismiss the elected president anytime. The President is responsible for the implementation of the constitution, and for the exercise of executive powers in implementing the decrees and general policies as outlined by the Supreme Leader, except for matters directly related to the Supreme Leader, who has the final say in all matters.
The procedures for presidential election and all other elections in Iran are outlined by the Supreme Leader. The President appoints the ministers, subject to the approval of the Parliament, as well as the approval of the Supreme Leader, who can dismiss or reinstate any of the ministers at any time, regardless of the decisions made by the President or the Parliament.
The legislature of Iran, known as the Islamic Consultative Assembly , is a unicameral body comprising members elected for four-year terms. All parliamentary candidates and all legislation from the assembly must be approved by the Guardian Council.
The Guardian Council comprises twelve jurists, including six appointed by the Supreme Leader. Others are elected by the Parliament, from among the jurists nominated by the Head of the Judiciary.
If a law is deemed incompatible with the constitution or Sharia Islamic law , it is referred back to the Parliament for revision. The decisions of the revolutionary courts are final and cannot be appealed.
The Special Clerical Court handles crimes allegedly committed by clerics , although it has also taken on cases involving laypeople.
The Special Clerical Court functions independently of the regular judicial framework, and is accountable only to the Supreme Leader.
The officially stated goal of the government of Iran is to establish a new world order based on world peace , global collective security , and justice.
This has led the United Nations Security Council to impose sanctions against Iran which had further isolated Iran politically and economically from the rest of the global community.
In , the U. Director of National Intelligence said that Iran, if choosing to, would not be able to develop a nuclear weapon until The Islamic Republic of Iran has two types of armed forces: Iran also has around , Reserve Force, totaling around , trained troops.
The government of Iran has a paramilitary, volunteer militia force within the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps , called the Basij , which includes about 90, full-time, active-duty uniformed members.
Up to 11 million men and women are members of the Basij who could potentially be called up for service. The government of Iran supports the military activities of its allies in Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon Hezbollah with military and financial aid.
Iran controlled over 70, troops deployed in Syria. Since the Revolution, to overcome foreign embargoes, the government of Iran has developed its own military industry, produced its own tanks , armored personnel carriers , missiles , submarines , military vessels, missile destroyer , radar systems, helicopters , and fighter planes.
The objective is to move towards free market prices in a 5-year period and increase productivity and social justice.
Iran has also developed a biotechnology , nanotechnology , and pharmaceutical industry. Currently, the government is trying to privatize these industries , and, despite successes, there are still several problems to be overcome, such as the lagging corruption in the public sector and lack of competitiveness.
In , Iran was ranked 69, out of nations, in the Global Competitiveness Report. Iran has leading manufacturing industries in the fields of automobile manufacture, transportation, construction materials, home appliances, food and agricultural goods, armaments, pharmaceuticals, information technology, and petrochemicals in the Middle East.
Economic sanctions against Iran , such as the embargo against Iranian crude oil, have affected the economy.
Although tourism declined significantly during the war with Iraq, it has been subsequently recovered. Over five million tourists visited Iran in the fiscal year of —, four percent more than the previous year.
Alongside the capital, the most popular tourist destinations are Isfahan , Mashhad , and Shiraz. In , Iran ranked 68th in tourism revenues worldwide.
It also ranks fourth in oil reserves with an estimated ,,, barrels. In the early s, industry infrastructure was increasingly inefficient because of technological lags.
Few exploratory wells were drilled in The addition of new hydroelectric stations and the streamlining of conventional coal and oil-fired stations increased installed capacity to 33, megawatts.
In , Iran opened its first wind-powered and geothermal plants, and the first solar thermal plant was to come online in Education in Iran is highly centralized.
K—12 is supervised by the Ministry of Education , and higher education is under the supervision of the Ministry of Science and Technology.
The adult literacy rated The completion of the pre-university course earns students the Pre-University Certificate. Iran has increased its publication output nearly tenfold from through , and has been ranked first in terms of output growth rate, followed by China.
Iran placed its domestically built satellite Omid into orbit on the 30th anniversary of the Revolution, on 2 February ,  through its first expendable launch vehicle Safir , becoming the ninth country in the world capable of both producing a satellite and sending it into space from a domestically made launcher.
The Iranian nuclear program was launched in the s. Iran is the seventh country to produce uranium hexafluoride , and controls the entire nuclear fuel cycle.
Iranian scientists outside Iran have also made some major contributions to science. In , Ali Javan co-invented the first gas laser , and fuzzy set theory was introduced by Lotfi A.
Furthering research and treatment of diabetes, the HbA1c was discovered by Samuel Rahbar. Iranian physics is especially strong in string theory , with many papers being published in Iran.
In August , Iranian mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani became the first woman, as well as the first Iranian, to receive the Fields Medal , the highest prize in mathematics.
Iran is a diverse country, consisting of numerous ethnic and linguistic groups that are unified through a shared Iranian nationality. Iran hosts one of the largest refugee populations in the world, with more than one million refugees, mostly from Afghanistan and Iraq.
According to the Iranian Constitution , the government is required to provide every citizen of the country with access to social security , covering retirement, unemployment, old age, disability , accidents, calamities, health and medical treatment and care services.
UN World Population Prospects . The majority of the population speak Persian , which is also the official language of the country. Others include speakers of a number of other Iranian languages within the greater Indo-European family, and languages belonging to some other ethnicities living in Iran.
In northern Iran, mostly confined to Gilan and Mazenderan , the Gilaki and Mazenderani languages are widely spoken, both having affinities to the neighboring Caucasian languages.
In parts of Gilan, the Talysh language is also widely spoken, which stretches up to the neighboring Republic of Azerbaijan. Varieties of Kurdish are widely spoken in the province of Kurdistan and nearby areas.
In Khuzestan , several distinct varieties of Persian are spoken. Lurish and Lari are also spoken in southern Iran.
Azerbaijani Turkish , which is by far the most spoken language in the country after Persian,  as well as a number of other Turkic languages and dialects, is spoken in various regions of Iran, especially in the region of Azerbaijan.
Circassian was also once widely spoken by the large Circassian minority, but, due to assimilation over the many years, no sizable number of Circassians speak the language anymore.
Percentages of spoken language continue to be a point of debate, as many opt that they are politically motivated; most notably regarding the largest and second largest ethnicities in Iran, the Persians and Azerbaijanis.
As with the spoken languages, the ethnic group composition also remains a point of debate, mainly regarding the largest and second largest ethnic groups, the Persians and Azerbaijanis, due to the lack of Iranian state censuses based on ethnicity.
The Library of Congress issued slightly different estimates: Qashqai and Turkmens , and non-Iranian, non-Turkic groups incl. Other non-governmental estimations regarding the groups other than the Persians and Azerbaijanis roughly congruate with the World Factbook and the Library of Congress.
However, many scholarly and organisational estimations regarding the number of these two groups differ significantly from the mentioned census.
According to many of them, the number of ethnic Azerbaijanis in Iran comprises between Historically, early Iranian religions such as the Proto-Iranic religion and the subsequent Zoroastrianism and Manichaeism were the dominant religions in Iran, particularly during the Median, Achaemenid, Parthian, and Sasanian eras.
This changed after the fall of the Sasanian Empire by the centuries-long Islamization that followed the Muslim Conquest of Iran.
Iran was predominantly Sunni until the conversion of the country as well as the people of what is today the neighboring Republic of Azerbaijan to Shia Islam by the order of the Safavid dynasty in the 16th century.
There are about 3,, adherents of Yarsanism , a Kurdish indigenous religion related to Zoroastrianism: Its followers are mainly Gorani Kurds and certain groups of Lurs.
Judaism has a long history in Iran , dating back to the Achaemenid conquest of Babylonia. Although many left in the wake of the establishment of the State of Israel and the Revolution, about 8,  to 25,  Jewish people live in Iran.
Iran has the largest Jewish population in the Middle East outside of Israel. Most are of Armenian background, as well as a sizable minority of Assyrians.
Christianity, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, and the Sunni branch of Islam are officially recognized by the government, and have reserved seats in the Iranian Parliament.
The government has not released statistics regarding irreligiosity. However, irreligious figures are growing and are higher in the diaspora , notably among Iranian Americans.
The earliest attested cultures in Iran date back to the Lower Paleolithic. Owing to its geopolitical position, Iran has influenced cultures as far as Greece and Italy to the west, Russia to the north, the Arabian Peninsula to the south, and south and east Asia to the east.
The art of Iran encompasses many disciplines, including architecture , stonemasonry , metalworking , weaving , pottery , painting , and calligraphy.
Iranian works of art show a great variety in style, in different regions and periods. Greek iconography was imported by the Seleucids , followed by the recombination of Hellenistic and earlier Near Eastern elements in the art of the Parthians ,  with remains such as the Temple of Anahita and the Statue of the Parthian Nobleman.
By the time of the Sasanians, Iranian art came across a general renaissance. During the Middle Ages, Sasanian art played a prominent role in the formation of both European and Asian medieval art,  which carried forward to the Islamic world , and much of what later became known as Islamic learning—including medicine , architecture , philosophy , philology , and literature —were of Sasanian basis.
The Safavid era is known as the Golden Age of Iranian art,  and Safavid works of art show a far more unitary development than in any other period,  as part of a political evolution that reunified Iran as a cultural entity.
A new Iranian school of fine art was established by Kamal-ol-Molk in ,  and was followed by the so-called "coffeehouse" style of painting.
The history of architecture in Iran goes back to the seventh millennium BC. Iranian architecture displays great variety, both structural and aesthetic, developing gradually and coherently out of earlier traditions and experience.
Traditionally, the guiding formative motif of Iranian architecture has been its cosmic symbolism "by which man is brought into communication and participation with the powers of heaven".
According to Persian historian and archaeologist Arthur Pope , the supreme Iranian art, in the proper meaning of the word, has always been its architecture.
The supremacy of architecture applies to both pre- and post-Islamic periods. Of the various modern languages used in Iran, Persian , various dialects of which are spoken throughout the Iranian Plateau,   has the most influential literature.
Persian has been dubbed as a worthy language to serve as a conduit for poetry, and is considered one of the four main bodies of world literature.
According to The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy , the chronology of the subject and science of philosophy starts with the Indo-Iranians, dating this event to BC.
The Cyrus Cylinder , which is known as "the first charter of human rights ", is often seen as a reflection of the questions and thoughts expressed by Zoroaster, and developed in Zoroastrian schools of the Achaemenid era.
Among them are treatises such as the Zatspram, Shkand-gumanik Vizar , and Denkard , as well as older passages of the Avesta and the Gathas.
Iranian mythology consists of ancient Iranian folklore and stories, all involving extraordinary beings, reflecting attitudes towards the confrontation of good and evil , actions of the gods, and the exploits of heroes and fabulous creatures.
Myths play a crucial part in Iranian culture, and understanding of them is increased when they are considered within the context of actual events in Iranian history.
The geography of Greater Iran, a vast area covering present-day Iran, the Caucasus, Anatolia, Mesopotamia and Central Asia, with its high mountain ranges, plays the main role in much of Iranian mythology.
It draws heavily on the stories and characters of the Zoroastrian tradition, from the texts of the Avesta , the Denkard , and the Bundahishn.
Iran is the apparent birthplace of the earliest complex instruments, dating back to the third millennium BC. Multiple depictions of horizontal harps were also sculpted in Assyrian palaces, dating back between and BC.
The history of Sasanian music is better documented than the earlier periods, and is especially more evident in Avestan texts.
Iranian traditional musical instruments include string instruments such as chang harp , qanun , santur , rud oud , barbat , tar , dotar , setar , tanbur , and kamanche , wind instruments such as sorna zurna , karna and ney , and percussion instruments such as tompak , kus , daf dayere , and naqare.
Iranian pop music has its origins in the Qajar era. The emergence of genres such as rock in the s and hip hop in the s also resulted in major movements and influences in Iranian music.
Before the Revolution, the Iranian national stage had become a famous performing scene for known international artists and troupes,  with the Roudaki Hall of Tehran constructed to function as the national stage for opera and ballet.
The artifact, associated with Jiroft , bears five sequential images depicting a wild goat jumping up to eat the leaves of a tree. The figures at Persepolis remain bound by the rules of grammar and syntax of visual language.
It is even possible to see a progenitor of the cinematic close-up shot in one of these works of art, which shows a wounded wild pig escaping from the hunting ground.
By the early 20th century, the five-year-old industry of cinema came to Iran. Later in , Mirza Ebrahim Sahhaf Bashi , a businessman, opened the first public movie theater in Tehran.
Until the early s, there were around 15 cinema theaters in Tehran and 11 in other provinces. The majority of the production focused on melodrama and thrillers.
Attempts to organize a film festival, which had begun in within the framework of the Golrizan Festival, resulted in the festival of Sepas in After the Revolution of , and following the Cultural Revolution , a new age emerged in Iranian cinema, starting with Long Live!
Critics considered this a remarkable event in the history of Iranian cinema. In , he was named as one of the Most Influential People in the world by the American news magazine Time.
It is enjoyed by people adhering to different religions, but is considered a holiday for the Zoroastrians. Alternatively, the Lunar Hejri calendar is used to indicate Islamic events, and the Gregorian calendar remarks the international events.
Due to its variety of ethnic groups and the influences from the neighboring cultures, the cuisine of Iran is diverse. Herbs are frequently used, along with fruits such as plums, pomegranate, quince, prunes, apricots, and raisins.
To achieve a balanced taste, characteristic flavorings such as saffron, dried lime, cinnamon, and parsley are mixed delicately and used in some special dishes.
Onion and garlic are commonly used in the preparation of the accompanying course, but are also served separately during meals, either in raw or pickled form.
Lunch and dinner meals are commonly accompanied by side dishes such as plain yogurt or mast-o-khiar , sabzi , salad Shirazi , and torshi , and might follow dishes such as borani , Mirza Qasemi , or kashk e bademjan as the appetizer.
Being a mountainous country, Iran is a venue for skiing , snowboarding , hiking , rock climbing ,  and mountain climbing.
The Azadi Sport Complex , which is the largest sport complex in Iran, was originally built for this occasion. Volleyball is the second most popular sport in Iran.
In , Iran made global headlines for international female champions boycotting tournaments in Iran in chess U. Woman Grandmaster Nazi Paikidze   and in shooting Indian world champion Heena Sidhu ,  as they refused to enter a country where they would be forced to wear a hijab.
Iran is one of the countries with the worst freedom of the press situation, ranking th out of countries on the Press Freedom Index as of Television was introduced in Iran in Iran received access to the Internet in According to Internet World Stats, as of [update] , around From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
For other uses, see Persia disambiguation. This article is about the modern nation. For other uses, see Iran disambiguation.
Country in Western Asia. Prehistory of Iran and Archaeological sites in Iran. Muslim conquest of Persia and Medieval Iran.
Safavid dynasty , Afsharid dynasty , Zand dynasty , and Qajar dynasty. Agriculture in Iran and Environmental issues in Iran. List of Iranian cities by population.
Largest cities or towns in Iran census. Judicial system of Iran. Foreign relations of Iran. Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Iranian involvement in the Syrian Civil War. Education in Iran and Science and technology in Iran. Religion in Iran and Irreligion in Iran. Iranian art and Arts of Iran.
Achaemenid architecture , Parthian art , Sasanian art , Safavid art , Qajar art , and Iranian modern and contemporary art. Iranian architecture and Persian gardens.
Ruins of the Tachara , part of the World Heritage site of Persepolis. Literature in Iran , Iranian literature , and Persian literature.
Iranian mythology and Iranian folklore. Persian theater and Persian dance. Cinema of Iran and History of Iranian animation. List of festivals in Iran.
Public holidays in Iran. Weightlifter Kianoush Rostami wins gold at the Summer Olympics. Taekwondo athlete Kimia Alizadeh wins bronze at the Summer Olympics.
Iran portal Middle East portal. The word also appears four times in Old Persian: One is in the Behistun inscription , where ariya- is the name of a language DB 4.
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