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539 BC was the year in which Persian forces defeated the Babylonian army at Opis, and marked the end of around four centuries of Mesopotamian domination of the region by conquering the Neo-Babylonian Empire.
Cyrus entered Babylon and presented himself as a traditional Mesopotamian monarch.
Iran is a founding member of the UN, ECO, NAM, OIC, and OPEC.
It is a major regional and middle power, – exert considerable influence in international energy security and the world economy.
Subsequent Achaemenid art and iconography reflect the influence of the new political reality in Mesopotamia.
At its greatest extent, the Achaemenid Empire included territories of modern-day Iran, Republic of Azerbaijan (Arran and Shirvan), Armenia, Georgia, Turkey (Anatolia), much of the Black Sea coastal regions, northeastern Greece and southern Bulgaria (Thrace), northern Greece and the Republic of Macedonia (Paeonia and Macedon), Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories, all significant population centers of ancient Egypt as far west as Libya, Kuwait, northern Saudi Arabia, parts of the United Arab Emirates and Oman, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and much of Central Asia, making it the first world government and the largest empire the world had yet seen.
From the late 10th to the late seventh century BC, the Iranian peoples, together with the "pre-Iranian" kingdoms, fell under the domination of the Assyrian Empire, based in northern Mesopotamia.
The Iranian realm fell to Alexander the Great in the fourth century BC, but reemerged shortly after as the Parthian Empire, followed by the Sasanian Empire, which became a leading world power for the next four centuries.
The country's rich cultural legacy is reflected in part by its 22 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the third-largest number in Asia and eleventh-largest in the world.
The term Iran derives directly from Middle Persian Ērān, first attested in a third-century inscription at Rustam Relief, with the accompanying Parthian inscription using the term Aryān, in reference to the Iranians.
According to international reports, Iran's human rights record is exceptionally poor.
The regime in Iran has frequently persecuted and arrested critics of the government and its Supreme Leader.