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    Badab-e Surt stepped travertine terraces, Mazandaran, Iran
    Panoramic view from Badab-e Surt stepped travertine terraces, the terraces are formed by two mineral hot springs in Mazandaran Province in northern Iran.
    Image: M Reza Samaee

    Location map of Iran. Where in the world is Iran?
    Location map of Iran
    (click on the map to enlarge)

    Flag of Iran
    Flag of Iran

    Destination Iran, a Nations Online Project country profile of the Islamic republic between the Caspian Sea in the north and the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman in the south. Conventionally, it is the easternmost country in the Middle East.

    The land was formerly known as Persia. Iran is bordered by Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Pakistan, Turkey, and Turkmenistan.

    The country also shares maritime borders with Kazakhstan and Russia (in the Caspian Sea), Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

    Mount Damavand, Elburz mountains, Iran
    Mount Damavand in the Elburz mountains is a potentially active stratovolcano and the highest mountain in Iran.
    Image: Arad Mojtahedi

    With an area of 1,648,195 km2, Iran is almost three times the size of France or slightly smaller than Alaska.

    Most of the country is situated on the Iranian Plateau (a geological formation in Western and Central Asia), except for the coastal regions at the Caspian Sea and the Khuzestan Province in the southwest at the Persian Gulf. The Zagros Mountains in the west form the largest mountain range in Iran, Iraq, and southeastern Turkey. In Iran's north towers the Elburz or Alborz mountain range that stretches from the border of Azerbaijan along the western and entire southern coast of the Caspian Sea. Mount Damavand, at 5,610 m (18,410 ft), is Iran's highest mountain located in the Elburz mountain range.

    Iran has a population of 83 million people (in 2020) [1]. The country's largest city is Tehran, which is the capital and the political and economic center of the republic.
    Other major cities are Mashhad, Isfahan, Karaj, Tabriz, Shiraz, Ahvaz, and Qom.
    Spoken languages are Persian (Farsi, official), Kurdish, Azeri, Arabic, Baluchi. The official religion is Shia Islam.

    The population of Iran is concentrated in the north, northwest, and west. The vast arid areas in the center and east of the country, around the Dasht-e Kavir, the Great Salt Desert, and the stony deserts and dune fields of Dasht-e Lut have a much lower population density.

    Islamic Republic of Iran | Jomhuri-ye Eslāmi-ye Irān

    Iran is historically known as Persia. The Persian Empire was one of the greatest empires of the ancient world with a series of imperial dynasties. The empire also was frequently invaded, first by Alexander the Great, then by the Parthians, later ruled by the Hellenistic Seleucid Empire.

    Iran's hereditary monarch, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, fled the country in 1979 after decades of corrupt and authoritarian rule, and mounting religious and political unrest. Exiled Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returned from Paris to lead an Islamic revolution and formed the world's first Islamic republic the same year. An eight-year war with Iraq followed.

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    Country Profile

    Official Name:
    Jomhuri-ye Eslami-ye Iran
    short form: Iran
    int'l long form: Islamic Republic of Iran
    former: Persia

    ISO Country Code: IR, IRN

    Local Time = UTC +3.5h
    Actual Time: Mon-Nov-9  12:50
    Summer UTC +4.5

    Country Calling Code: +98

    Capital City: Tehran

    ...show more

    Official Sites of Iran

    Note: External links will open in a new browser window.

    Iranian National Assembly building in Tehran
    Assembly building in Tehran, home to the Iranian Majlis, the Islamic Consultative Assembly.
    Image: Islamic Parliament Building

    Political System

    In 1979, the country, known in the west as Persia, became the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Islamic Revolution of 1979 opposed the western secular policies of the authoritarian Shah of Iran Reza Pahlavi. Pahlavi was ousted, and since then, the country is run by an authoritarian Islamic theocratic government.
    Head of State is the Supreme Leader (Ali Khamenei), who exercises ideological and political control over the state, controls the armed forces, and makes decisions on security, defense, and important foreign policy issues.
    Head of Government and head of the executive branch is the President, who is elected by popular vote for four years and can serve no more than two consecutive terms. The president's power is limited by decisions of the Supreme Leader, the influence of Islamic clerics and conservatives in Iran's coercive security apparatus, and the judiciary.


    Ali Khamenei
    Official website of the second and current Supreme Leader of Iran.

    Presidency of the Islamic Republic of Iran
    Official website of Hassan Rouhani's Office.

    The Iranian parliament, the Islamic Consultative Assembly.

    Ministry of Foreign Affairs
    MOFA of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

    Diplomatic Missions
    Mission of The Islamic Republic of Iran to the UN
    Iran's representation to the United Nations.
    Iranian Missions Abroad
    List of Iranian embassies and consulates

    Statistical Centre of Iran (SCI)
    The site contains official statistics in fields such as agriculture, population, trade, and economy of Iran.

    Islamic Republic Of Iran Meteorological Organization
    The weather in Iran.



    Maps of Iran

    Iran Political Map
    Map of Iran (click map to enlarge)
    Image: ? nationsonline.org


    profile Map of Iran
    Political Map of Iran.

    Google Earth Google Earth Iran
    Searchable map and satellite view of Iran.
    Google Earth Google Earth Tehran
    Searchable map and satellite view of Iran's capital city.

    profile Map of Western Asia
    Map of Western Asia and the Middle East region.
    profile Map of Asia
    Reference Map of Asia.


    News of Iran


    Online News from Iran

    According to BBC, all broadcasting from within Iran is controlled by the state and reflects official ideology. There is a wider range of opinions online and in the press.
    Hossein Derakhshan, an Iranian writer and media analyst, states that the Iranian government has matured in its understanding of how the media works. "They've constantly improved in their understanding of media, and its impact on society, especially since the foreign-based satellite televisions have started - the BBC Persian, and others. They have grown really worried that, if they keep the internal space too closed, and too limited, then people wouldn't watch, or wouldn't read, or wouldn't trust that they see."

    News Agencies
    Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA)
    The official news agency of Iran.
    Mehr News
    Iranian news agency headquartered in Tehran.
    Tasnim News Agency
    Tasnim News Agency is a private news agency in Iran, launched in 2012.

    Iran News (in English)
    Iran Daily
    Published by the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).
    Iran Front Page
    IFP News is an English language news website with the latest news and views from Iran.
    Tehran Times
    Tehran based pro-government English daily newspaper.

    Iran News in Persian
    Aftab-e Yazd
    Tehran based daily reformist newspaper.
    Ettelaat International
    Iran's oldest daily newspaper.
    Jaam-e Jam
    Daily news from IRIB, Irans domestic radio and television services.
    Kayhan News
    Iran's 'most conservative Iranian newspaper.'
    Daily news.
    Most popular reformist newspaper in Iran

    Iranian Fake News
    The Iran Project
    The site, kind of an Iranian Russia Today, fishes for users' attention with copied "News related to Iran, specially political, military and regional affairs!"

    International News Sources
    BBC News Country Profile: Iran
    With links to Iran related news and background information.
    Al-Araby (The New Arab)
    Pan-Arab media outlet with Qatari background, headquartered in London.
    Al Jazeera Iran News
    Iran related news from Al Jazeera.
    AP News Iran
    Iran news by The Associated Press.
    The Guardian News Iran
    Iran related news by The Guardian.

    Human Rights
    Amnesty International: Iran
    Amnesty International Reports.
    Human Rights Watch: Iran
    Background Briefings.

    Press freedom
    Reporters sans frontières - Iran
    Annual report about Press freedom in the country.



    Arts & Culture of Iran

    Satellite view of the Dasht-e Kavir desert, Iran
    This is not a painting of modern Iranian art; it is a satellite view of the Dasht-e Kavir desert in the center of the Iranian plateau.
    Image: Axelspace Corporation

    Arts & Culture

    Interior wall and ceiling of the Sheikh Lotfallah Mosque in Isfahan
    Interior wall and ceiling of the Sheikh Lotfallah Mosque in Isfahan, the former capital of Persia. The dome shows a network of lemon-shaped compartments, which increase in size as they descend from a formalized peacock at the pattern inlaid on plain stucco.
    Image: Phillip Maiwald

    Miniatures, Carpets, and Calligraphy.
    Iran (Persia) is one of the richest sources of fine arts in the world. Persian art includes many traditional disciplines such as architecture, painting, literature, music, weaving, pottery, calligraphy, metalworking and stonemasonry.

    Iranian Cultural Heritage Organization
    Iran government organization for cultural heritage, handcrafts and tourism (Persian only).

    Carpet Museum of Iran
    Fine Persian carpets. Carpet-weaving is an outstanding manifestations of Iranian art and culture.

    Glassware and Ceramic Museum of Iran
    Persian/Iranian glassware and ceramic from several centuries.

    National Museum of Iran
    The largest museum of history and archaeology in the country.

    The Art of the Safavids before 1600
    The Metropolitan Museum of Art article about art and culture of the the Safavid empire (1501–1722).

    Culture of Iran
    Site related to Iranian art and culture.

    Islamic Arts and Architecture: Iran 
    The Islamic Arts and Architecture website shows also examples of Persian art.

    Persian art
    Wikipedia articles related to the history and the development of Persian art or Iranian art.

    Reza Abbasi Museum
    Museum of Iranian cultural and art history with a collection of Persian art dating back to the second millennium BC.



    Business & Economy of Iran

    South Pars/North Dome Gas-Condensate field facilities, Asaluyeh, Iran
    South Pars/North Dome Gas-Condensate field facilities near Asaluyeh City. South Pars is the largest gas field in the world, located in the Persian Gulf in the territorial waters of Iran; the larger part of the area is situated within the maritime territory of Qatar.
    Image: Hamed Malekpour

    The Economy of Iran is based on oil, agriculture, construction, trade, and services. The country's economy suffers greatly from US sanctions, which were reintroduced in 2018 after the US unilateral withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA). High import prices and staggering inflation are further crippling Iran's economy.

    Central Bank of Iran
    Responsible for Iranian monetary policy.

    Tehran Stock Exchange (TSE )
    The site provides a market summary, last prices, indices, and listed companies.

    Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Mines
    With information on joint chambers and international affairs.

    How To Invest In Iran
    Information about Iran and its investment opportunities.

    Major Iranian Companies
    National Iranian Oil Company
    The government-owned national oil and natural gas producer.

    National Petrochemical Company
    Government-owned NPC is responsible for the development and operation of the country's petrochemical sector.

    A state-owned mining company.

    Iran Khodro
    IKCO is an Iranian automaker headquartered in Tehran; it manufactures vehicles, including Samand, Peugeot, Suzuki, and Renault cars, as well as trucks, minibusses, and buses.

    Iranian automaker headquartered in Tehran. Saipa manufactures and sells mainly French, Japanese, and South Korean vehicles under license.

    Mobarakeh Steel
    Mobarakeh Steel Company is the biggest steel producer in the Middle East and Northern Africa, according to their own statement.


    The Airline of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
    Iran Aseman Airline
    Domestic airline.
    Mahan Air
    Mahan Air is a privately owned Iranian airline based in Tehran; it serves destinations in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.


    Tourism in Iran

    Kazem Dashi rock within Lake Urmia, Iran
    Kazem Dashi rock within Lake Urmia, an endorheic salt lake in northwestern Iran. The once largest lake in the Middle East had shrunk to 10% of its former size due to persistent general drought in Iran. Since 2019 the lake is slowly filling up again.
    Image: Ali Heydari

    Destination Iran - Travel and Tour Guides


    Discover Iran (Persia): Damavand Mountain (highest point: 5 610 m), Caspian Sea, Lake Urmia, Persepolis, Bam (Arg e Bam), Tehran, Isfahan, Tabriz, Shiraz.

    Visit Iran
    Official travel and tourism information for Iran by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts, Iran.

    Iran Tourism & Touring Organization
    Comprehensive travel and tourism information for Iran.

    Portal for Iranian-Persian history and culture.

    Images of Iran.

    Arg-e Bam Citadel Before the 2003 earthquake, Bam, Kerman Province, Iran
    Arg-e Bam Citadel before the 2003 earthquake.
    Image: Aliyeh41

    UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Iran
    There are 24 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Iran and 56 sites on the Tentative List (see the List)

    World Heritage Site Bam and its Cultural Landscape
    Bam is a city situated in a desert environment on the southern edge of the Iranian high plateau in Kerman Province of southeastern Iran. Arg-e Bam was an enormous citadel on the Silk Road; its origins can be traced back to the time of the Achaemenid Empire (6th to 4th centuries BC).
    The fortress was the largest adobe building in the world; it was in large parts destroyed by an earthquake on the 26 December 2003. The site was partially reconstructed in the following years.

    World Heritage Site Persepolis
    Persepolis was the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire; it was founded by Darius the Great, the fourth Persian King of the empire. The ruins of Persepolis are located about 60 km northeast of modern-day Shiraz. The palace complex was built on an immense half-natural, half-artificial terrace. The ruins were excavated in the early 1930s.

    Gate of All Nations, Persepolis, Iran
    Ruins of the Gate of All Nations, Persepolis.
    Image: Ahura



    Education in Iran

    Shiraz University building, Shiraz
    Shiraz University.
    Image: Ahura21


    Amirkabir University of Technology
    AUT is a leading public research university, formerly known as the Tehran Polytechnic; it was the first technical university in Iran.

    Shahid Beheshti University
    One of the most renowned and prestigious universities in Iran is located in Tehran.

    Sharif University of Technology
    SUT is a public research university in Tehran and considered to be the country's leading institution for engineering and physical science.

    Shiraz University
    Shiraz University is among the top three research universities in the country.

    University of Tehran
    Iran's second oldest modern university, and one of the most prestigious universities in the Middle East, is located in Tehran.


    Environment & Nature

    Amir Kabir dam reservoir, Karaj dam on the Karaj River in the Central Alborz mountain range of Iran
    Amir Kabir dam reservoir, the dam is also known as Karaj dam, a dam on the Karaj River in the Central Alborz mountain range in northern Iran.
    Image: ninara

    Department of Environment
    Iran’s Department of Environment (DoE).

    Geological Survey of Iran (GSI)
    Organization for the geological study and the exploration of the mineral resources of Iran.

    Earth Watchers Center
    EWC is a non-profit environmental organization in Iran.

    Green Party of Iran Environment
    The site includes articles about Iran's drought, air and water pollution, agriculture, flora, and fauna.

    International Institute of Khazar Sea Studies
    Studying political, economical, social, cultural, environmental issues of Caspian sea.


    Iran History

    Ruins of Rayen Castle in Kerman, Iran
    Medieval Rayen Castle (4th-century CE) in Kerman. Ruins of the adobe brick citadel and mountains in Kerman Province in southeastern Iran.
    Image: ninara

    Encyclop?dia Iranica
    Ehsan Yarshater Center for Iranian Studies at Columbia University.
    The Encyclop?dia Iranica is a comprehensive research tool dedicated to the study of Iranian civilization in all aspects, from prehistory to the present.

    Encyclop?dia Iranica
    The Encyclop?dia Iranica is a comprehensive research tool dedicated to the study of Iranian civilization in the Middle East, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and the Indian subcontinent. Another Encyclop?dia Iranica by The Encyclop?dia Iranica Foundation.

    Iran History
    Historical Periods and Events, a comprehensive site for Iranian-Persian history by IranChamber.com.

    The Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies (CAIS)
    Site about art, archaeology, culture, history, and languages of the area known as the "Greater Iran."

    Virtual reconstruction of Persepolis, the ancient capital of the Persian Empire.

    Iran Modern History Timeline
    Timeline of the history of Iran since 1921.

    History of Iran
    Wikipedia's main page about Iran's history, it is part of a series on the History of Iran.

    Iran | History, Culture, People, Facts, & Map | Britannica
    Encyclop?dia Britannica article about Iran's history.



    Other countries and territories in the Middle East
    Bahrain | Cyprus | Egypt | Gaza Strip | Iraq | Israel | Jordan | Kuwait | Lebanon | Oman | Qatar | Saudi Arabia | Syria | Turkey | United Arab Emirates | West Bank | Yemen

    Major Cities in the Middle East
    Abu Dhabi, Aden, Alexandria, Amman, Ankara, Baghdad, Beirut, Cairo, Damascus, Doha, Dubai, Istanbul, Jerusalem, Kuwait (City), Luxor, Manama, Mecca, Muscat, Nazareth, Nicosia, Port Said, Riyadh, Sana'a, Sharm El Sheikh, Suez, Tehran, Tel Aviv

    Other Countries in South Central Asia:
    AfghanistanBangladesh | Bhutan | India | Kazakhstan | Kyrgyzstan | Maldives | Nepal | Pakistan | Sri Lanka | Tajikistan | Turkmenistan | Uzbekistan

    Major Cities in South Central Asia
    Ashgabat, Astana, Bishkek, Chandigarh, Chennai, Colombo, Dhaka, Dushanbe, New Delhi, Islamabad, Kabul, Karachi, Kathmandu, Kolkata, Lahore, Male, Mumbai, Tashkent, Thimphu