Since the earliest second millennium BC, Assyrians settled in swaths of western Iran, and incorporated the region into their territories.
As the Iranians dispersed into the wider area of Greater Iran and beyond, the boundaries of modern-day Iran were dominated by Median, Persian, and Parthian tribes.
The civil war ravaged the Assyrian Empire between 616 and 605 BC, thus freeing their respective peoples from three centuries of Assyrian rule.
The unification of the Median tribes under king Deioces in 728 BC led to the foundation of the Median Empire which, by 612 BC, controlled almost the entire territory of present-day Iran and eastern Anatolia.
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.
Women's rights in Iran are described as seriously inadequate, Since the 2000s, Iran's controversial nuclear program has raised concerns, which is part of the basis of the international sanctions against the country.
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.
In 550 BC, Cyrus the Great, the son of Mandane and Cambyses I, took over the Median Empire, and founded the Achaemenid Empire by unifying other city states.
The conquest of Media was a result of what is called the Persian Revolt.
Arab Muslims conquered the empire in the seventh century AD, ultimately leading to the displacement of the indigenous faiths of Zoroastrianism and Manichaeism with Islam.
Iran made major contributions to the Islamic Golden Age that followed, producing many influential figures in art and science.