Discover Iran in Asia

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Iran with its capital Tehran is located in Asia (Middle East, bordering the Gulf of Oman). It covers some 1,648,001 square kilometres (slightly smaller than Alaska) with 65,875,000 citizens. Persian and Kurdish are the languages spoken by people in Iran. Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Armenia, Pakistan, Azerbaijan and Turkey are bordering countries.

Iran is a large country between the Middle East and Central Asia, between the Gulf of Oman, the Persian Gulf, and the Caspian Sea. Though the northern part of Iran is covered by dense rain forests called Shomal or the Jungles of Iran. The eastern parts consists mostly of desert basins such as the Dasht-e Kavir, Iran's largest desert, in the north-central portion of the country, and the Dasht-e Lut, in the east, as well as some salt lakes.

Pictures from the Iranian capital

Have a look at our dedicated photo collection to get a view of what Tehran is like. We have selected more pictures from Tehran on our dedicated gallery page.

Awesome photos provided by Panoramio are under the copyright of their owners.

Landscape, climate, hints for travelling

National Tourism Office

Website: Iran Tourism

The topography features rugged, mountainous rim with high, central basin with deserts, mountains and small, discontinuous plains along both coasts. The average density of population is about 40 per km². The climate in Iran can be described as mostly arid or semiarid, subtropical along Caspian coast. Potential natural disasters are periodic droughts, floods or dust storms, sandstorms or earthquakes.

To reach someone in Iran dial +98 prior to a number. There are 25,804,000 installed telephones. And there are 52,555,000 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks operate on frequencies of 900 Mhz. Websites typically end with the top level domain ".ir". If you want to bring electric appliances (e.g. battery charger), keep in mind the local 230V - 50Hz.

Description of the flag of Iran

Three equal horizontal bands of green (top), white, and red; the national emblem (a stylized representation of the word Allah in the shape of a tulip, a symbol of martyrdom) in red is centered in the white band; ALLAH AKBAR (God is Great) in white Arabic script is repeated 11 times along the bottom edge of the green band and 11 times along the top edge of the red band; green is the color of Islam and also represents growth, white symbolizes honesty and peace, red stands for bravery and martyrdom.

National administrative regions of Iran

Historical background information

Known as Persia until 1935, Iran became an Islamic republic in 1979 after the ruling monarchy was overthrown and Shah Mohammad Reza PAHLAVI was forced into exile. Conservative clerical forces led by Ayatollah Ruhollah KHOMEINI established a theocratic system of government with ultimate political authority vested in a learned religious scholar referred to commonly as the Supreme Leader who, according to the constitution, is accountable only to the Assembly of Experts - a popularly elected 86-member body of clerics. US-Iranian relations became strained when a group of Iranian students seized the US Embassy in Tehran in November 1979 and held embassy personnel hostages until mid-January 1981. The US cut off diplomatic relations with Iran in April 1980. During the period 1980-88, Iran fought a bloody, indecisive war with Iraq that eventually expanded into the Persian Gulf and led to clashes between US Navy and Iranian military forces. Iran has been designated a state sponsor of terrorism for its activities in Lebanon and elsewhere in the world and remains subject to US, UN, and EU economic sanctions and export controls because of its continued involvement in terrorism and its nuclear weapons ambitions. Following the election of reformer Hojjat ol-Eslam Mohammad KHATAMI as president in 1997 and a reformist Majles (legislature) in 2000, a campaign to foster political reform in response to popular dissatisfaction was initiated. The movement floundered as conservative politicians, through control of unelected institutions, prevented reform measures from being enacted and increased repressive measures. Starting with nationwide municipal elections in 2003 and continuing through Majles elections in 2004, conservatives reestablished control over Iran's elected government institutions, which culminated with the August 2005 inauguration of hardliner Mahmud AHMADI-NEJAD as president. His controversial reelection in June 2009 sparked nationwide protests over allegations of electoral fraud. The UN Security Council has passed a number of resolutions calling for Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities and comply with its IAEA obligations and responsibilities. In mid-February 2011, opposition activists conducted the largest antiregime rallies since December 2009, spurred by the success of uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt. Protester turnout probably was at most tens of thousands and security forces were deployed to disperse protesters. Additional protests in March 2011 failed to elicit significant participation largely because of the robust security response, although discontent still smolders. Deteriorating economic conditions due primarily to government mismanagement and international sanctions prompted at least two major economically based protests in July and October 2012.

Demographic Information

Iran has 827 senior citizens having at least the age of 100 years. Ladies make up for 602 of this count (which is 73%). 5,219,650 children are younger than 5 years (and make up for 8% of the total population). 17.3 babies are born per thousand citizens.

Iranian Age Distribution

Blue bars represent male citizens. Red bars represent female citizens. A pair or bars represents a single age group spanning five years each. Data has been released 2011.

Gender Distribution (Full Population)

Total share of male (blue) and female (red) citizens of the total population of Iran

Growth of Population (per thousands)

Babies born per thousand citizens (blue) and deaths (red) over the past ten years.

Geography And Economy Facts

Geographic Fact Data
Summary Continent: Asia
Neighbours: Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Armenia, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Turkey
Capital: Tehran
Size 1,648,000 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 636,296 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
slightly smaller than Alaska
Population 65,875,000

Economy Facts

Technology and Economy Data
Currency Name: Rial, Currency Code: IRR
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD) .ir
Telephone Country Prefix +98
Mobile Phone Connections 52,555,000
Landline Phone Connections 25,804,000
Military Spendings 2.5% (of GDP, Gross Domestic Product)

Country Position in World Rankings

Information about single country attributes and how these compare against the rest of the world. The information below is compiled with data from 2013. As such, it may differ a bit to the Information above in the text (which is from 2010).


Type of Data Value World Rank
Area 1,648,195 (sq km) 18

People and Society

Type of Data Value World Rank
Population 79,853,900 18
Population growth rate 1.24 (%) 94
Birth rate 18.40 (births/1,000 population) 105
Death rate 5.94 (deaths/1,000 population) 167
Net migration rate -0.10 (migrant(s)/1,000 population) 114
Maternal mortality rate 21.00 (deaths/100,000 live births) 135
Infant mortality rate 40.02 (deaths/1,000 live births) 56
Life expectancy at birth 70.62 (years) 149
Total fertility rate 1.86 (children born/woman) 146
Health expenditures 5.60 (% of GDP) 120
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate 0.20 (%) 100
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS 92,000 43
HIV/AIDS - deaths 6,400 33
Obesity - adult prevalence rate 19.40 (%) 99
Children under the age of 5 years underweight 4.60 (%) 91
Education expenditures 4.70 (% of GDP) 88
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 23.0 (%) 44


Type of Data Value World Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity) 1,016,000,000,000 18
GDP - real growth rate -1.90 (%) 208
GDP - per capita (PPP) 13,300 100
Labor force 27,050,000 24
Unemployment rate 15.50 (%) 149
Distribution of family income - Gini index 45 45
Investment (gross fixed) 31.20 (% of GDP) 20
Taxes and other revenues 23.9 (% of GDP) 130
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) 7.00 (% of GDP) 8
Public debt 18.80 (% of GDP) 129
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 25.20 (%) 220
Commercial bank prime lending rate 12.50 (%) 65
Stock of narrow money 58,770,000,000 46
Stock of broad money 199,900,000,000 40
Stock of domestic credit 138,500,000,000 49
Market value of publicly traded shares 86,620,000,000 44
Industrial production growth rate -2.70 (%) 157
Current account balance -7,215,000,000 170
Exports 66,370,000,000 53
Imports 66,970,000,000 47
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 69,860,000,000 29
Debt - external 9,452,000,000 100
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home 24,760,000,000 64
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad 2,881,000,000 68


Type of Data Value World Rank
Electricity - production 213,700,000,000 (kWh) 20
Electricity - consumption 173,100,000,000 (kWh) 22
Electricity - exports 6,154,000,000 (kWh) 26
Electricity - imports 2,068,000,000 (kWh) 51
Electricity - installed generating capacity 56170000 (kW) 17
Electricity - from fossil fuels 86.1 (% of total installed capacity) 85
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 13.7 (% of total installed capacity) 107
Electricity - from other renewable sources 0.1 (% of total installed capacity) 94
Crude oil - production 4,231,000 (bbl/day) 5
Crude oil - exports 2,295,000 (bbl/day) 5
Crude oil - proved reserves 151200000000 (bbl) 5
Refined petroleum products - production 1,801,000 (bbl/day) 14
Refined petroleum products - consumption 1,694,000 (bbl/day) 15
Refined petroleum products - exports 246,500 (bbl/day) 26
Refined petroleum products - imports 187,200 (bbl/day) 27
Natural gas - production 146,100,000,000 (cu m) 6
Natural gas - consumption 144,600,000,000 (cu m) 6
Natural gas - exports 8,420,000,000 (cu m) 25
Natural gas - imports 6,850,000,000 (cu m) 31
Natural gas - proved reserves 33,070,000,000,000 (cu m) 3
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 560,300,000 (Mt) 9


Type of Data Value World Rank
Telephones - main lines in use 27,767,000 12
Telephones - mobile cellular 56,043,000 22
Internet hosts 197,804 72
Internet users 8,214,000 35


Type of Data Value World Rank
Airports 324 23
Railways 8,442 (km) 24
Roadways 172,927 (km) 28
Waterways 850 (km) 70
Merchant marine 76 60


Type of Data Value World Rank
Military expenditures 2.50 (% of GDP) 57

Based on the content from The original article can be found here based on the work of these users. Geography information is based on the data provided by, CIA world facts book Edition 2010, 2013 and 2014, Unesco, DBpedia, wikipedia, national statistical offices and their census releases as well as other sources.