Iran--or Persia, as it was known until the 1930s--is home to one of
the world's oldest cultures. Over the years it has exerted a great
influence over its neighbors in the Middle East and Central Asia.influence over its neighbors in the Middle East and Central Asia.
Although Iran was once a close ally of the United States, in 1979
supporters of the Islamic fundamentalist cleric Ayatollah Ruhollah
Khomeini overthrew the government and instituted a new one based
on strict interpretation of Islamic law. In the years since then, U.S.-
Iranian relations have been hostile.Today, however, Iran is once again undergoing an internal struggle.
Iranians--particularly the younger generation--are trying to reconcile
the changes that followed the 1979 Islamic Revolution with
the needs and requirements of life in the 21st century. The outcome
of this struggle between religious conservatives and the reformers
will determine Iran's future.
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