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A Middle Eastern nation bordering seven other nations, including Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Turkey, Iran became an Islamic republic in 1979, when the monarchy was overthrown and clerics assumed political control under supreme leader Ayatollah Khomeini.

The Iranian Revolution marked the end of the rule of the Shah, who while putting in place heavy repression on dissent, also Westernised the country by pushing away powerful forces of religious and political leaders. Before the revolution Iran was a seemingly secular country and a hub of culture, however since then, the introduction of heavy Islamic law by the highly conservative cleric leadership saw the rights of women diminish within the society and today Iran imposes heavy restrictions on the rights and equality of on the female gender.

Iran's Supreme Leader today is Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who was appointed for life in June 1989, succeeding Ayatollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic republic.

All media in Iran is run by the state and any outlets who speak out for pro-reform have now been closed, with their contributors and editors imprisoned.