IRAN produces 3,800,000 barrels of oil a day. It is one of the world's largest producers of oil. It is a nation rich in intellectual heritage, and the people of Iran are hard working, determined, persistent, and excell in areas of medicine, science, and technical skills.
Iran has a high literacy rate among men, 84%. Among women, it is much less, only 70%. Indeed, Iran has one of the world's highest rates of female suicide of any nation on earth, possibly because of the difficulty women face in achieving their individual rights in Iran. http://www.iranfocus.com/modules/news/article.php?storyid=1494)
But more and more Iranian young people are graduating from Universities, and are eager to adopt more progressive world attitudes.
While the land mass of Iran is not huge, it has about 636,295 square miles, (about the size of Alaska), it is in a strategic location with proximity to land and sea, and has influence on all the nations of the sector.
Iraq, Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia, Kuwait, and the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman all are adjoining or near Iran. It's population of 65,400,000 people is relatively poor, and the average GDP per capita of $8,700, but the potential of Iraq is huge when the current price of oil is considered. Oil at $100 per barrel equals $380,000,000.00 of income per day to Iran.
The oil wealth flowing into the nation on an annual basis is huge. With over a billion dollars of oil income every three days, the world must question, "Where is the money going?" and the people of Iran must be asking "Why aren't our lives more prosperous?" Unfortunately, the money seems to be controlled by the government, and the government seems to be controlled by a group of religious leaders with little economic development expertise.
Therefore development projects fail on a regular basis, and concepts like rebuilding the infrastructure of the declining oil sector continue to lag behind. Iran does seems to be spending much money helping international "friends" and appears to have a huge military budget.
But, it is in a rough neighborhood. The world must wonder, with all of this wealth and power, how much Iran can do, if it's resources are wisely directed in projects to help the Iranian people and in well concieved economic development, educational, and technology sectors.
Unfortunately, the United States has not helped matters. Economic sanctions and other pressures by "Western nations" and the increased volume of rhetoric, through conservative politicians, (usually right wing Republicans) has be detrimental to relations and seems aimed at a goal to curb the growth, wealth, influence and power of Iran.
The reasons are because Iran has become the leading power in the region, and does not agree with the "unilateral" foreign policy of the USA, that has prevaled since the U.S.A. invasion of Iraq. While the United States appears to be mired in an "occupation" that has put it in the cross fire of a civil war between Sunnis and Shihite's, Turkey is eager to exert it's military power to take over the Kurdish part of Iraq.
With all of the resources and energy being wasted in Iraq, Iran has simply taken the leadership position of the sector, a gift to Iran, thanks to ill conceived foreign policy decisions of the USA, Britain, France, Germany, and the other "coalition" forces, still in Iraq.
Culturally, historically, religiously, economically and geographically, Iran is poised to again emerge as one of the world's major influences. One of Iran's immigrants to the USA, Homayoon Shidnia, suggested that we consider the history of Iran and war.
In the past three hunderd years Iran never invaded any country. In Mosadegh's time USA set up a Coup deta in Iran that you know. In 1980- 1988 the USA helped Saddam to attack Iran. In the Afghanestan Invasion Iran helped the USA army to attack theTaliban. In the invasion of Iraq Iran stayed neutral and still we don't have any evidance that Iran is attacking our (US) troops in Iraq.