Many of Iran's neighbors are struggling with internal divisions or the repercussions of U.S.-led military invasions. Tehran has lashed out at Bahrain for its suppression of a Shiite crackdown against the minority Sunni leadership. Washington, meanwhile, has criticized the Iranian government for meddling in Iraqi political developments.
Iran, for its part, maintains its affairs are in order and is one of the more stable countries in the region.
"The Islamic Republic of Iran is incomparable with the regional countries in terms of security," Deputy Interior Minister for Security Affairs Ali Abdollahi was quoted by state-funded broadcaster Press TV as saying.
Politically, Iran is faced with a potential presidential crisis as splits emerge between Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
The semiofficial Fars News Agency reports a top official in Ahmadinejad's office was arrested. At least 25 people close to the president and his Chief of Staff Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei have been arrested in recent weeks, London's Guardian newspaper notes.
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]