Iran World Cup StatisticsConfederation: Asia
Previous World Cup Appearances: 1978, 1998
Best Finish: 1st Round (1978, 1998)
Iran General InformationCapital City: Teheran
Population: 68.3 million
Official Languages: Farsi
Country History and BackgroundKnown as Persia until 1935, Iran became an Islamic republic in 1979 after the ruling shah was forced into exile. Conservative clerical forces established a theocratic system of government with ultimate political authority vested in a learned religious scholar. A group of Iranian students seized the US Embassy in Tehran on 4 November 1979 and held it until 20 January 1981. During 1980-88, Iran fought a bloody, indecisive war with Iraq over disputed territory. Over the past decade, popular dissatisfaction with the government, driven by demographic changes, restrictive social policies, and poor economic conditions, has been pressuring for political reform.
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