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Gambling in Iran

Iranian Gambling Laws

By Reno Rollins

Gambling in Iran is illegal. According to the Koran, Muslims are not permitted to part in any form of gambling. The Koran states that destiny is predetermined by Allah and is not subject to chance. Games of chance tempt men into believing in luck, thus drawing them away from God.

Facts About Iran

Formerly known as Persia, Iran is located in Central Eurasia. It is bordered by Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkey and Iraq. It is the 18th largest country in the world, slightly smaller in size than the state of Alaska. The population is estimated to be over seventy million.

The official religion in Iran is Shi’a Islam. Persian is the official language.

Iran is one of the world’s oldest continuous civilizations, as it can be traced back as far as 4000 BC. In modern times, it maintains an important position in the world due to its large reserves of natural gas (2nd in the world) and petroleum (3rd in the world).

The country is divided into 30 provinces. They are:

- Tehran
- Qom
- Markazi
- Qazvin
- Gilan
- Hamadan
- Kermanshah
- Ilam
- Lorestan
- Sistan and Baluchestan
- Kerman
- Yazd
- Ardabil
- Khuzestan
- Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari
- Isfahan
- Semnan
- Mazandaran
- Zanian
- East Azarbaijan
- West Azarbaijan
- Kurdistan
- Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad
- Bushehr
- Fars
- Hormozgan
- Golestan
- North Khorasan
- Razavi Khorasan
- South Khorasan

Recent History of Iran

Iran or Persia was a traditional regional power in the Middle East and the major Muslim rival to the Ottoman Turks during their centuries ruling that region. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the British and Russian empires forced Iranian leaders into political and economic concessions. Persia was a major source of conflict between the two powers.

Despite losing territory to the European powers, Iran was never colonized like other Middle Eastern powers. Hearkening back to the great Persian empires of history, the Iranians continued to view themselves as a ruling and not a subject nation. An Iranian shah came to power in 1921, but was forced out by anti-western forces in 1951. The new Iranian leadership nationalized the Iranian oil reserves, alarming the western powers.

In 1953, the Eisenhower Administration backed a CIA overthrow of the Iranian government, placing the Shah in power. His U.S.-backed government would rule until 1978, when the Islamic Revolution placed Ayotollah Khomeini in power. Western and Soviet leaders feared an islamic revolution throughout the Middle East, and therefore moved to back the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq when he invaded Iran in 1980.

Though Iran is a larger and more populous nation than Iraq, this support allowed the Iraqis to win a bitter and grueling eight year war. In recent years, Iran appears to have recovered from this defeat and is once again exerting power and influence throughout the Middle East.

Iranian Demographic Information

From 1950 until 2002, the urban population in Iran increased from 27% to 60%. This gives Iran one of the highest urban growth rates in the world. By 2030, it is estimated that 80% of the country’s citizens will live in urban areas.

Tourism declined in the 1980s, but it has slowly begun to become a viable industry in Iran. 2003 saw over 300,000 tourist visas granted, many to Asian Muslims interested in seeing religious sites in Qom and Mashhad. In 2004, a total of 1,659,000 foreign tourists visited Iran. Iran ranks 68th in the world for tourism revenue.

Most Iranian residents are Muslim, and 90% belong to the Shi’a branch of the religion. Around 8% follow the Sunni branch, and the remaining 2% are made up of religions such as Hindus, Jews, Yarsanis and Christians.

Iran is known for its human rights violations. Accusations include torture, execution of minors, restrictions on freedom of speech, gender inequality and persecution of homosexuals.

Two-thirds of Iran’s population is under the age of 25. For this reason, sports are extremely popular within the country. Soccer is the most popular sport, while freestyle wrestling is considered the national sport.

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