More than 2,500 years ago, Cyrus the Great founded the great Persian Empire, the vast land now called “Iran”. As one of the world’s oldest and greatest civilizations with diverse cultures, Iran is located in southwest Asia at a strategic crossroads between Europe and Asia and bordered by the Caspian Sea, the Persian Gulf, and the Gulf of Oman.
The country is the world’s 18th most populous nation with a population estimated over 81 million. In terms of geographical area, it is the second largest country in the Middle East and the 18th largest in the world. The capital of Iran and the largest city of the county, Tehran, has a population that exceeds 7 million. Tehran metropolis is among the list of most urbanized areas in the world and considered as the country’s leading economic and cultural center.
Iran also has five additional cities that have recorded populations of over one million. These cities include Mashhad, Isfahan, Karaj, Tabriz, and Shiraz. All of these cities are considered to be among the major industrial and commercial centers and tourist attractions.