Atlas of Tehran Metropolis

Information about Tehran displayed through maps.  Subjects include: Population and migration, education, activity and employment, and quality of life.

Country Studies

The Library of Congress Country Studies include extensive information about all Middle Eastern countries, including historical overviews as well as information about government structure, economics, and demographics.

Specific countries can’t be bookmarked, so follow the link above and select the country of interest.

Essential Readings: Iran

A comprehensive list of books about Iran, including scholarly books, memoirs, fiction, and poetry.

From Exotic to Demonic: Images of Iranians in the US Media

This article explores the changing images of Iran in the American media.

Green Movement at a Glance

This article details the Green Movement of Iran.

The History of BP/British Petroleum and Its Role in the 1953 Iran Coup

Stephen Kinzer, author of All the Shah’s Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror, looks at the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company’s role in the 1953 CIAcoup against Iran’s popular progressive prime minister, Mohammad Mosaddegh.

Iran Country Profile

The BBC’s overview of Iran.

Iran Fact Sheet

A quick fact sheet providing clear information about Iran.

Iran Facts and Figures

Iran facts and figures from the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center

Iran in Perspective

This resource from the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center offers a country profile section containing basic facts about the target country, followed by selected themes organized under the major headings of Geography, History, Economy, Society and Security.

Iran Iraq War

A short history of the Iran-Iraq war.

Iran: The Struggle for Change

This series of short articles discusses the role of different actors in the 2009 Green Revolution, including youth, women, and the media.


Irancarto is a scientific research website devoted to cartographic studies on Iran and the Iranian world current or past: society, demography, economics, politics, culture, history, language, arts, cities, countryside.

Iranian Cultural and Information Center

A wealth of information on Iranian culture, history, cuisine, and even sport

Iranian Flag

Details about the Iranian flag.

Iranian Protesters Mobilize on Social Media Websites

Social media web sites like Twitter and Facebook are playing an important role in political protests rippling through Iran. Margaret Warner speaks with experts about how such social networking sites are affecting Tehran’s political scene

Learn About Iran: A Starter Kit

A bibliography of Iran-related books and website.

Persian-Farsi Cultural Orientation

Cultural Orientations from the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center offer an engaging introduction to a given cultural group. Linguists and non-linguists alike will benefit from these interactive materials and pertinent language exchanges that are coupled with an objective and practical look at daily life in different contexts. Topics include religion, traditions, family life and differences in the lifestyles of urban and rural populations.

Perspectives: Middle East Outreach Center Newsletter

This newsletter has information and resources about several different aspects of Iran, including articles about Shi’a Islam, the geography of Iran and its impact on Iran’s culture, and recommended reading about Iran.

Reading List: Iran, Iraq and Palestine

Suggested books about Iran, Iraq, and Palestine.

Resources on Iran

A bibliography of Iran-related books, curricular materials, and videos.

Shirin Ebadi: Nobel Peace Prize Winner

Background reading for students and discussion questions about Shirin Ebadi, Iranian human rights activist and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Al-Monitor Pulse: Iran (text)

Al-Monitor Pulse: Iran offers original reporting and analysis by prominent journalists and experts from the Middle East about Iran

Ancient Whispers, Songs of Persia (audio)

This music, by Dr. Khodadad Kaviani, provides unique ways for all Iranians to reconnect with their Zoroastrian cultural roots through songs.  These cultural songs are valuable teaching and learning resources about the living Zoroastrian traditions.

Arab Spring 2011 and Green Movement of 2009 (audio)

Interviews with Danny Postel and Nader Hashemi, co-authors of The People Reloaded: The Green Movement and the Struggle for Iran’s Future.

Exploring Iran – Resources from America Abroad (multimedia)

This collection of multimedia resources from America Abroad provides a historical review of Iran, a look at contemporary Iran, and a lens on Iranian culture.

Hamid and Christina Moghadam Program in Iranian Studies (audio)

A podcast series about Iran from Stanford University

Inside Iran (multimedia)

Locked in a struggle between repressive religious authority and open democratic reform, Iran finds itself at a historic crossroads.

Iran (is Not the Problem) (video)

Iran (is not the problem) is a feature length film responding to the failure of the American mass media to provide the public with relevant and accurate information about the standoff between the US and Iran, as happened before with the lead up to the invasion of Iraq. We have heard that Iran is a nuclear menace in defiance of the international community, bent on “wiping Israel off the map”, supporting terrorism, and unwilling to negotiate. This documentary disputes these claims as they are presented to us and puts them in the context of present and historical US imperialism and hypocrisy with respect to Iran. It looks at the struggle for democracy inside Iran, the consequences of the current escalation and the potential US and/or Israeli attack, and suggests some alternatives to consider.

Iran Daily (text)

Daily newspaper from Tehran published by the official news agency IRNA.

Iran in Crisis (text)

Al-Jazeera’s collection of Iran info.

Iran News (text)

Current news about Iran from the New York Times.

Iran News Daily (text)

Iran News is a Tehran-based English Language newspaper, established in 1994.

Iran Picture & Photo Collection (multimedia)

Persia Tours photo and video gallery of Iran.

Iran Through the Looking Glass (audio)

These podcasts, produced by the Choices Education Program at Brown University, bring university scholars into secondary level classrooms.

Iran’s Perilous Path (multimedia)

A multimedia story that chronicle the history of Iran through pictures, from Reza Shah Pahlavi to Ahmadinejad.

Iranian Green Wave Movement for Democracy and US Left’s Skepticism (audio)

Why were elections in Iran rigged? What Iranian Demonstrators want? Is the Green Wave in Iran another CIA staged colour revolution? for some answers tune into KBOO’s special talk show with Goudarz Eghtedari when he interviews Professors Hamid Dabashi and Kaveh Ehsany.

Jadaliyya: Iran (text)

A collection of articles about Iran posted on Jadaliyya

Jason Jones: Behind the Veil (video)

A Daily Show segment with Jason Jones on Iran.

The Legacy of Nonviolent Movements in Iran (video)

This film takes a look into the two most recent mass movements in Iran’s history: the 1979 Revolution that brought the clerics to power, and the 2009 mass protests, known as the Green Movement, that threatened the foundation of the same clerical rule.

Maps of Iran from PBS (images)

Maps of Iran from PBS

Obama & Iran-Between War, Sanctions and Diplomacy (video)

A recording from a luncheon talk with Trita Parsi, one of the foremost experts on US-Iranian relations, Iranian foreign politics, and the geopolitics of the Middle East.  Hosted by the World Affairs Council of Oregon.

Once Upon a Time in Tehran (images)

Slideshow of past Iran.

Pictures of Iran (images)

Pictures of Iran organized by city.

Tehran Rising (audio)

The Middle East is undergoing a seismic change. And with regimes falling or in flux, it’s the Islamic Republic of Iran that stands to benefit. Tehran has friends in high places in Lebanon and Iraq, and a solid ally in Syria and Gaza. So with the sands of the Middle East shifting, concerns over a Persian power play are mounting.  Audio recording from America Abroad

Tehran Times (text)

An English-language Iranian news source.

Understanding Persian Culture Through Film (video)

A collection of 32 films about Iranian culture available free.  Password: portlandstateu

American Iranian Friendship Council Educator’s Page

With profiles of culture, economics, geography and more, this website provides helpful information about Iran.

psu logo edited Being Young in Iran: Kristine Bahareh Rabii and Monica Parisa Rabii

Video footage of presentation given at Middle East Studies Center Workshop, People, Power, and Protest: Iran.  In this  presentation, PSU students Kristine and Monica Rabii talk about what it’s like to be young in Iran.  View accompanying powerpoint slides here.

Celebrating Nowruz: A Resource for Educators

A teaching resource about the Iranian New Year for educators.

psu logo edited Children of Heaven Lesson Plan 

By viewing the Iranian film Children of Heaven, students compare the lives of American and Iranian children.

psu logo edited Children of Heaven: Discussion Questions

Discussion questions for the Iranian film Children of Heaven

Create a “Me”-niature Painting

Students will create their own painting after learning about traditional Persian Miniature paintings in Saving Faces: The Real Story of Representational Art in Islam.

Discovering Iran Through Journeys and Film

Materials for teaching the film “Children of Heaven”

Educational and Cultural Perspectives on Iran

These lesson plans provide activities and discussion questions to help students explore stereotypes and develop a framework for understanding cultural identity.  These lesson plans help students and teachers develop strategies to support multicultural students.

psu logo edited Iran in the 20th Century

This unit was designed with a High School World History class in mind. It focuse ssolely on Iran because it is an extremely important player in today’s current events and yet we do not know very much about it or the role that the U.S. played in its recent history. Being able to draw connections between the past and the present represents one of the most significant skills students should build during history courses. This aim will be one of the driving forces of this unit.

This unit will cover Iran’s history from the turn of the twentieth century to the present. In particular, it will deal with the effects of foreign involvement in Iran. Previously, this class would have theoretically covered a unit on World War I/World War II and Russian history from the Bolshevik Revolution.

This unit’s lessons are designed for 80-90 minute long class periods.

Iranian films about Children and Youth

List of films about Iranian children and youth.

psu logo edited Life as an Iranian Teenager

by Lindsey Gillies (Iran-6th grade-Reading). In this lesson plan students read The Little Black Fish, an Iranian folktale, and create their own readers’ theater to learn about the lives of teenagers in Iran.

Navigating a Crisis

This powerpoint presentation provides a brief history of Iran and valuable resources for teaching about the country.

Online Persian Language Resource

Online resource center with links to English-Persian dictionaries, language learning games, and more. Developed by the Department of Near Eastern Studies at the University of Arizona.

Operation Ajax

This digital novel tells the story of the CIA efforts to overthrow the government of Iran in 1953, packaged as an interactive digital graphic novel that offers a range of multimedia elements seamlessly woven together.

Persian Miniature Paintings Visual Tour

This site provides you and your students with a visual tour of two exquisite sixteenth-century Persian paintings, “A Camp Scene” and “Nighttime in a Palace,” from the collection of the Harvard University Art Museums. The site includes discussion questions and analysis

Persian Poetry Through the Ages

A guide to Persian poetry.

Physical Geography of Iran

A study guide for Iran’s geography.

Pictures Tell the Story: Improving Comprehension With Persepolis

Graphic novels, which tell real and fictional stories using a combination of words and images, are often sophisticated and involve new and intriguing topics. In this lesson, students examine the art and craft of the graphic novel Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi and assess the impact of visual elements on their comprehension of the beginning of the story. The goal of the lesson is to get students started so that they can successfully read and analyze the rest of the book. They will also explore the recent history of the Middle East as presented by Satrapi.

Salome: Politics and Music in Iran

In this lesson, created by Primary Source, students use primary sources (rap) to study current events in Iran.

Teaching with the News: The United States and the Iranian Nuclear Program

In this lesson students analyze the issues that frame the current debate on U.S. policy towards Iran.

The Cat and the Coup

The Cat and the Coup is a documentary videogame in which you play the cat of Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh, the first democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran. During the summer of 1953, the CIA engineered a coup to bring about his downfall. As a player, you coax Mossadegh back through significant events of his life by knocking objects off of shelves, scattering his papers, jumping on his lap and scratching him.

The Prospect for Democracy in Iran

In this two-day lesson, students will analyze the unprecedented events after the June 12, 2009 presidential election on Iran. The lesson provides teachers with background information on Iran’s political history and level of democracy. Students make an in-depth examination of events after the election by viewing various news segments. Students will then discuss the details of the historic importance of the events and write an op/ed essay on the chances for substantial democratic reform as a result of the events surrounding the June12th election.

The U.S. and Iran: Confronting Policy Alternatives

A two-period lesson plan focuses on role-play and deliberation exploring four Policy Options concerning U.S. policy toward Iran today.

The Whole World is Watching: Iran 2009

In this two-day lesson, students will look at the phenomenon of citizen journalism and the role it played in Iran during massive public protests that followed the June 12, 2009 presidential election. They will examine how the use of Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube are filling in the news void left after the Iranian government barred mainstream media coverage after the election. Students will take a critical look at the effectiveness and reliability of this new media on reporting the news and promoting political activism in Iran. They will then develop their own citizen journalism report. This lesson provides students ample background information on the historic roots of a free press and the use of citizen journalism.

U.S. Foreign Policy and Iran

This is a collection of student readings that provides an overview of Iranian-US relations from 1945-1997. Discussion questions and student activities supplement the readings.

psu logo edited Virtual Voyage to Iran

by Lisa Walker (Iran-7th grade-Social Studies).  This lesson introduces students to the life and culture of Iran by taking students on a virtual journey through the country.

Women in Iran

In this lesson from the Choices program, students will explore their perceptions of women in Iran and then learn how women’s lives actually are by gathering information from scholarly videos.  Students will practice note-taking skills and consider the possible effects of perceptions on international relations.

psu logo edited Words and Images: Art of Iran

This art unit is intended to be taught collaboratively with a concurrent social studies unit, so that students are gaining
understandings of Iranian history and culture as they explore works made by artists of Iranian descent. Lessons 1-3 will
introduce students Iranian visual art, and in lessons 4-5, students will use words and images to succinctly communicate about their own culture and/or values.