8. Iran - The New York Times
Description: Jun 11, 2019 · Iran, known as Persia until 1935 and now officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is the second-largest nation in the Middle East by population. Iran shares a border, along with historical and religious ties, with Iraq. Iran has been a quasi-theocracy since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, which deposed Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran.