Iran tested some missiles on July 9th, causing a lot of concern around the world. This was Iran’s way of saying that no country should try to attack Iran since it can attack back. Iran has also threatened to shut down the Strait of Hormuz, which is used by ships to move almost 40% of the world’s traded oil.
Why would Iran think that anyone would attack it? The root of all this is Iran’s “nuclear technology”. Let’s take a closer look.
Nuclear energy is the energy in the core of an atom – those teeny weeny particles that make up every object in the universe. A lot of energy can be released from atoms by splitting them into smaller ones, and this can be used to produce electricity. Nuclear power plants do exactly that, and already, one-sixth of the world’s electricity comes from such nuclear energy. But the same nuclear energy can also be used to make very dangerous bombs, whose explosions can cause a large amount of destruction. Iran claims that it is building its nuclear technology to be able to generate electricity, but many countries are worried that it may be using it to create bombs. Some countries have suggested that perhaps Iran’s nuclear technology can be destroyed by attacking it. Iran’s missile tests are in response to that.
Iran is home to one of the world’s oldest continuous major civilizations from around 4000 BC. The country was known as Persia until 1935, and its official language is still called Persian. It is the world’s fourth largest oil producer.
Enjoy ice cream or popsicles? Ancient Persians were one of the first people to invent a frozen dessert called “faludeh” which is made out of rosewater and vermicelli. They figured out how to store ice inside tall buildings called yakhchals (see picture) – these acted like refrigerators. Faludeh is still a popular dessert in Iran.