Iran is the 18th largest country of the world. It stretches from the Caspian Sea in north to the Persian Gulf in the south. Iran is one of the world’s effective countries in oil export and it is rich in natural resources. It is one of the oldest nations in the world, with a history dating back tens of thousands of years. Iran has a long history of scholarship that has created a rich culture of art, literature, poetry, music, meals, and architecture. Ancient Iranian thinkers wrote influential texts on philosophy and medicine, and it was an Iranian mathematician who invented algebra. Iran's universities are among the most respected in the Middle East.