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Iran, (Persian: ايران, Īrān; pronunciation: [iːˈɾɒn]), formerly known internationally as Persia, is a Southwest Asian country located in the geographical territories of the Middle East.
The 18th largest country in the world in terms of area at 1,648,000 square kilometers. It has a population of over seventy million people.
Iran is one of the world's oldest continuous major civilizations, with historical and urban settlements dating back to 4000 BCE, making it a possible candidate for the earliest human civilization. Throughout history Iran has been of geostrategic importance because of its central location in Eurasia.